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Morgan Hill
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August 19, 2022

Turning to Tito

During all of his years of coaching women’s basketball, Tito
Addison knew he would one day make the switch to coaching men. He
was just waiting for the right situation.
Gilroy – During all of his years of coaching women’s basketball, Tito Addison knew he would one day make the switch to coaching men. He was just waiting for the right situation.

He believes he has now found it, and the new men’s basketball coach at Gavilan College is anxious to get working on rebuilding the Rams into a winning program.

“I’m very excited,” Addison said. “I always knew that I was going to make the switch. I couldn’t have chosen a better place.”

Addison is a graduate of San Jose State University, where he was a part of the 1996 team that won the Big West Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament to face top-seeded Kentucky.

He spent last season as an assistant coach for the women’s team at San Jose State and previously was the head women’s coach at Mission College from 2002-2005. Other experience includes being an assistant women’s coach at Notre Dame de Namur (2001-2002) and the head girls coach at Prospect High in Saratoga (1998-2001).

Although Addison has never held a men’s coaching position, he’s coached men over the years on club teams and in camps and said he is prepared for the challenge.

“The game’s going to be a lot different,” Addison said. “But it’s not foreign to me. I played the game myself.”

In addition receiving Big West All Conference honors at San Jose State, Addison played at Seaside High in Monterey. The 1992 team he played for advanced to the Division III state championship game, where it lost 79-72 to Morningside High of Inglewood.

Addison is hoping his experience as a player, in particular his playing in the NCAA Tournament, will rub off on his players.

“It’s a great card that I can always pull out,” Addison said. “At any moment, anywhere, it can happen. There’s all kinds of people that can make it to that level.”

Addison will attempt to turn around a Gavilan program that finished in a tie for last place in the Coast Conference-South last season with a 7-23 overall record and a 3-9 conference mark.

He said he has a passion for revitalizing programs and he has a track record for doing so. During his three years at Mission, he turned a program that had only four eligible players in his first season to a co-champion of the Coast Conference-North in his final year.

“Trying to come in and get established right away is going to be a challenge but I think we have the make-up,” Addison said. “This is the fourth situation I’ve been in where the program was struggling. I love that challenge and I thrive at that.”

Addison has brought along former Cal standout Al Grigsby to join his staff. Grigsby, who was with the Golden Bears from 1992-97 (he red-shirted the 1994 and 1996 seasons), was on Addison’s staff at Mission and was the first person Addison called to ask to join his Gavilan staff.

“He’s been my right-hand man,” Addison said. “He’s been very instrumental with many of the local players going on to play. He’s been a rock for me, someone I never have to worry about.”

Grigsby’s Cal teams twice advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and Addison hopes that Grigsby’s vast experience will be beneficial to the program.

“That’s something that every basketball player dreams to do, even players that skip school to go to the NBA,” Addison said of playing in the NCAA Tournament. “We’re two guys that have been there and not only been there but have had success while there.”

Addison doesn’t have a specific approach that he brings to coaching, but he said he will adapt his philosophy to the skills his players have and will stress the mental aspect of the game.

“We want to be a thinking team,” Addison said. “Whether that’s offensively or defensively, we want to think. We’ll be playing to our strengths and taking away the strengths of the other teams.”

He knows competing in the Coast Conference will take some work, but said he’s prepared to start guiding the Rams toward success.

“This is a very tough conference,” he said. “Getting that respect in the conference, especially in my first year, will be a tough challenge.”

Jimmy Durkin is the Morgan Hill Times sports editor. Reach him at (408) 779-4106 ext. 203 or [email protected]

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