UC Davis Basketball Influences East Bay Athletics

Sara Lillevand Judd, a former Aggie, hired another UC Davis standout, Gus Argenal, to lead Cal State East Bay's men's basketball team. (Chico State Athletics)

HAYWARD, Calif. – Cal State East Bay has announced that former UC Davis women’s basketball assistant coach Sara Lillevand Judd has been selected as its new athletics director. A member of Pioneer athletics for 16 years, first as a head women’s basketball coach, and most recently as the school’s senior associate athletics director for compliance, Judd will begin her tenure in early June.

After 11 seasons at the helm of the Pioneers' women’s basketball team, Judd finished her coaching career with the most wins (172) and highest winning percentage (.585) in the program’s history. In nine of 11 seasons, her teams won at least 15 games; 20 or more victories were earned in her other two seasons.

With the exception of her first year at East Bay, all of Judd’s teams qualified for postseason play.

After the 2007-08 season, Judd stepped down from coaching in order to join the administrative staff. For the next three years, she helped guide East Bay Athletics through the complex process of regaining membership into NCAA Division II as a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. She was instrumental in aiding the Pioneers' move from a non-scholarship program to one that exceeds the minimum of $250,000 in athletic financial aid, while coming into compliance with Division II rules for scheduling, recruiting, scholarships, and eligibility. 

Before arriving at Cal State East Bay, Judd served as an assistant coach for UC Davis, her alma mater, during the 1996-97 season. That year, the Aggies finished with a 29-3 record, and undefeated conference mark and the program’s inaugural postseason appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.

A three-year team captain throughout her distinguished career (from 1988-91), Judd helped the Aggies win 66 games (against 19 losses), post a combined 36-6 record in Northern California Athletic Conference action, NCAA West Regional First Round and Sweet 16 playoff berths.

More than two decades after graduating UC Davis with high honors as a Rhodes Scholar candidate, Judd still holds the school record for most assists in a game (13) and season (159).

In her first act as an athletics director, Judd announced the hiring of another former Aggie standout and assistant coach, Gus Argenal, as the eighth head men’s basketball coach in East Bay’s history.

“Gus' varied coaching experiences have prepared him well for this opportunity to return home to the East Bay and lead our men's basketball team to new heights in the CCAA,” said Judd.

As was the case with his new supervisor, Argenal established himself as one of the Aggies’ all-time best point guards during his playing career. He is ranked seventh all-time with 274 assists and still shares the program record for most assists earned in a single game (13).

Shortly after he graduated in 2004, Argenal began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Arizona State. Once he earned his master’s degree in education, Argenal returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach for the 2005-06 season. Throughout the Aggies’ transition to Division I competition, he served as the team’s recruiting coordinator, primary academic monitor and organized all youth camps.

After his inaugural coaching stint with the Aggies, he became the director of basketball operations at UTSA for two seasons, then returned to Northern California in 2008 to join Chico State’s staff. 

In addition to a continued focus on strength and conditioning, his primary duties included recruiting as well as perimeter player development. At Chico State, he coached four all-conference selections and helped the Wildcats earn two CCAA Tournament appearances.

Argenal returned to the Aggies’ bench in 2011 where he coached Tyrell Corbin into the Big West’s top 10 in assists and steals. That squad finished the season ranked No. 3 in the league in three-point percentage and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the conference’s postseason tournament.

Argenal left Davis at the end of the 2011-12 season to serve as an assistant coach at Rice University. He was a fixture on the Owls’ bench for two years before landing his first head coaching position at the collegiate level.