BELLINGHAM - Tony Dominguez has received a permanent appointment as the Western Washington University men's basketball coach following four months as an interim appointee.
Nearing the mid-point of his first season at the helm, Dominguez has directed the Vikings, who are the defending NCAA Division II national champions, to a 12-0 record, first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings and a No. 5 ranking nationally. The unbeaten start is the second longest in school history, behind only the 1971-72 season.
The 40-year-old Dominguez accepted the new agreement Thursday, Jan. 9, according to WWU Director of Athletics Lynda Goodrich.
"I am pleased to announce that Tony Dominguez will be our head coach at Western for the long-term future," Goodrich said in a news release. "The way that he has handled the program over the last four months has been outstanding, as well as his interaction with the administration, coaching staff, student-athletes, donors and fans. All these factors contributed to the thinking that the time was appropriate for his title to officially change."
Dominguez took over the Vikings' program in late August when long-time head coach Brad Jackson accepted a position as assistant at the University of Washington following a 27-year, 518-win career at WWU.
"I feel very blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity," Dominguez said in a news release. "WWU has been my home for over 20 years and I am proud and excited to be a representative of our campus community and lead young men through their athletic careers as head basketball coach.
"My commitment will be to work as hard as possible to have our program be a positive force within the community and beyond. There will always be challenges, but this is a tremendous step for me in my professional development."
Dominguez was an associate head coach the previous two seasons and an assistant 17 years overall, all at WWU. During that stretch, the Vikings posted a 317-165 (.658) record, made six regional appearances and won five conference championships. They won the national title last year with a 31-5 record and reached the national semifinals in 2001.
"Following a very successful coach is always tough to do, Dominguez said, "but I will do my best as my passion is to coach and mentor young student-athletes. I feel great pride in WWU and will attempt to carry on the tradition of excellence."
As an assistant, Dominguez was responsible for recruiting, scouting, scheduling, and budgeting. He played a major role in the recruiting classes of the past 12 seasons. Those teams had a winning percentage of .711 (246-100).
Dominguez earned a bachelor's degree in communications from WWU in 1994 and completed Masters of Business Administration degree from Concordia University (Wisconsin) in 1998.
A graduate of Cascade High School in Everett, Dominguez was a multi-sport athlete for the Bruins. He and wife Kristi have two daughters, Emilia 13 and Madison 10; and a son Dane 7.