All 'Revved' UP

By The Beacon | December 4, 2010 9:00pm

The Beacon sits down with men’s basketball coach Eric Reveno to learn about his basketball past, discuss the Pilots’ future, and get to know the coach who is quietly turning the Pilots into an eve

(Kevin Kadooka -- The Beacon)

By PJ Marcello, Staff Writer --

This is your fifth year coaching UP basketball and almost every year the team's record has improved. What do you credit this success to?

A lot of factors have played into the improvement of the program. Number one I would say are the players that come to the University of Portland. Two has been the stability of the assistant coaching staff. They are fantastic and we have had the same group coaching every year. Number three is the support from the administration. They have helped us do what we need to win.

What is your favorite part about coaching UP basketball?

The thing I enjoy most are the student athletes on the team and the people I work with in the Athletic Department and really everyone across the campus. I like the size of the school and the friendly environment around UP. In general I also really like Portland.

You won WCC Coach of the Year for the 08-09 season. Was this your greatest coaching achievement?

I think I'm most proud of the two top three finishes in the conference the last two years while improving team GPA. Winning games combined with doing well in the classroom gives us a solid foundation to be a championship team within the conference. The Coach of the Year was in recognition of the progress we have made as a team and entire coaching staff. I received that award on behalf of the staff and the team more than a personal accolade.

What is your experience in basketball that led you to want to coach?

I had played the game for awhile but I became really passionate about it my sophomore year of high school. I was fortunate enough to have really good coaches and mentors early on in high school that got me excited about the fundamentals and the joy of trying to be the best player I could be. Later this translated into me wanting to help players become the best players they could be as well.

You played center in college at Stanford. What was your college experience like?

My college experience was great. My freshman year we had a 3-15 record in league. My last year we finished 15-3 in league and we made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 47 years. I am proud to say I was part of a team that helped to turn around the program. It was a great experience in building up a program and seeing what it takes to do that.

You played professionally for a few years in Japan. What was this experience like for you?

Japan was great. The basketball there was okay but the living experience was what made it great. There was a joke that the Japanese players were a lot better and taller than you expect. In fact, I wasn't even the tallest on the team. There were also good American players that played over there too. The life experience over there was fantastic. Being able to learn the language and culture as well as living in a new country was something I am glad I got to do.

What is your favorite basketball memory so far?

I have a lot of great memories of team accomplishments. My favorite memory was an assistant coach at Stanford when we beat Arizona to clinch the Pac-10 Championship. There is nothing better than winning a conference championship. This is a goal that we're working toward here.

You are known to use Twitter from time to time. What is it about Twitter that you like?

I got into it not really knowing what it was. I don't have a Facebook or anything like that. I guess I probably should since it's not going anywhere. But I got into Twitter just to figure it out. I found out it was easy to use and was good for a few reasons. First, it is a great source to get quick information like news items or hearing intellectual things from different people. Secondly, it gives me a chance to give my opinion on games or in the offseason let people know how we are doing or just post something I think is funny.

What do you look to accomplish while coaching at the University of Portland?

My goal as a coach is to build a program that wins championships the right way with a commitment to excellence on and off the court. I would like to be in a position to win the conference championship every year and go to the NCAA tournament consistently. A good goal would be to go to the tournament as many times as we miss, so at least two out of four years.