Story by John Leykam
For David Carter, talented point guard and floor general of the Gaels' 1989 NCAA Tournament basketball team, New Year's Eve 2005 was doubly special.
Carter and the then-20th-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack were at McKeon Pavilion for a matinee showdown against his alma mater. (SMC won the game 89-80.) During halftime, Carter, the onetime Los Angeles prep standout (from Crenshaw), was honored with his Saint Mary's coaches and teammates who tested Clemson before losing in the first round of the "Big Dance" in Boise.
"I'm excited about that day," Carter said from his Reno area home before the event. "I've kept in touch with a few of those guys like Al Lewis, Erick Newman, and James Dailey, but having them all together in one place with the coaches is really something."
Described as the top assistant coach in the Western Athletic Conference by a respected college basketball publication, Carter has made steady progress toward his goal of gaining a Division I head coaching position. He has worked at the University of Washington, Diablo Valley College, Eastern Washington, Saint Mary's College, and now Nevada.
"Lynn Nance, my head coach at Saint Mary's, gave me my first coaching opportunity as a graduate assistant at Washington. I will always be grateful for that," Carter says. "At Nevada, Trent (Johnson, the current Stanford head coach) showed me how to build a struggling program into a winning one."
"David is an exceptional person and a fine coach," says Johnson. "His recruiting ability, coaching insights, and relationships with players have helped to make Nevada a better program."
David and his wife, Kimberly '89, have two children: Alexis, 7, and Cameron, 5.
My days as a student-athlete at Saint Mary's College were great," Carter says. "People like Brother Jerome West, John Dennis, Greg Smith, and Roger Murphy were good friends. I am real close to a master's degree in physical education. Maybe I can finish it off in Moraga. That would be nice."