Anthony Santos has spent the first six seasons committed to helping the Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball program succeed, and in the fifth-year of head coach Dedrique Taylor tenure, he announced Santos’ promotion to assistant coach.
“I am beyond excited to have Coach Santos joining us as a full-time coach,” Taylor said. “His contributions have been invaluable, including keeping us organized on so many different fronts that are pivotal to our program’s success. He has been with us since we arrived, and has been a part of our growth. I’m anxious to see his imprint on our team and program from the recruiting and on-court coaching aspect as we continue to build the Titan Basketball brand.”
Santos is currently entering his fifth year as an assistant coach still holding multiple roles with the program in regards to recruiting, on the floor coaching, player development, film breakdown, game scheduling and much more. With so much changeover in staff at Cal State Fullerton over the last several years, Santos’ ability to wear different hats in the program has been pivotal for not only Coach Taylor, but for the players and administrators.
A native of Walnut, Calif., Santos joined the Titans as a team manager during his senior year (2011-12), and following his graduation, was hired as the program’s director of basketball operations, serving in that role over the last five seasons (2013-2017).
“I am truly humbled, and at the same time, ecstatic to continue to be a part of the Titan family,” Santos said. “Cal State Fullerton has always been a home to me, and I am thankful that Coach Taylor has entrusted me with this opportunity. I have learned a great deal over my first six years on staff, and I appreciate everything that all the coaches have done for me. I look forward to mentoring our student-athletes on and off the court, as well as, continuing to help push the program to new heights under Coach Taylor’s leadership.”
During Santos’ first years with the Titans, his main responsibilities have included coordinating team travel, budget operations, game operations, overseeing student-athlete academic progress, supervision of the team’s managers, handling social media efforts, as well as serving as the staff’s liaison for development, ticketing, marketing and media relations.
Since Santos took over as director of basketball operations for the 2012-13 season, 27 Titan players have received their degrees, including Kennedy Esume, a Big West Conference All-Academic selection and 2015 Big West Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.
In 2017-18, CSF went 20-12 and won the Big West Tournament Championship and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in program history. Santos helped Kyle Allman, Jr elevate his play to claim multiple honors – All-Big West First Team, Big West Tournament MVP, NABC All-District 9 Second Team as well as being on the Lou Henson Player of the Year Award Watch List. And in this same year, Santos was named the Coach of the Year by the Asian Coaches Association, the first recipient to earn this honor.
During the 2016-17 season, Cal State Fullerton totaled its most wins since 2012, after the Titans finished the 2016-17 season with a 17-15 record. The year concluded with Fullerton qualifying for postseason play for just the seventh time in school history, as the Titans hosted Weber State in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The event also marked the first time Fullerton had ever hosted a postseason game.
The Titans have produced back-to-back Big West Freshmen of the Year in Jackson Rowe (2016-17) and Khalil Ahmad (2015-16), while totaling nine Big West All-Conference honors over the last five years.
Santos graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in May 2012, and in the spring of 2014, received his master’s in sports performance/sports psychology.
He served as an assistant coach at Don Bosco Tech High School during the 2009-2011 seasons. During the 2009-10 campaign, Santos was part of a team that finished 4-21, and in the following year (2010-11), helped turned the program around with a record of 20-9, eventually losing in the quarterfinals to Muir High School.