FULLERTON, Calif. - After two members of his staff left the program to become Division I head coaches of their own, Cal State Fullerton head men's basketball coach Dedrique Taylor has hired Gus Argenal as his associated head coach and Brandon Dunson as an assistant coach to fill out his staff.
"Both Gus (Argenal) and Brandon (Dunson) bring a different element to our program," Taylor said. "As I was part of their collegiate playing careers, our respective relationships have grown over the years and I am beyond excited to reconnect with them at this stage of their coaching careers. Their experience at various levels complements the Titan brand. They fit our system of helping student-athletes grow and improve as part of our #DevelopU motto."
Argenal spent the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons as an assistant coach at Nevada while Dunson was an assistant for the 2018-19 season. The Wolf Pack reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament in both years and won the Mountain West Championship both years as well. They also won 29 games in each season, tying the school record. For the 18-19 season, the Wolf Pack were ranked in the top-25 every single week and were ranked as high as No. 5 in both the Coaches and AP Polls while they finished the year at No. 23 in the Coaches Poll.
Argenal helped Wolf Pack players Caleb Martin, Jordan Caroline, Cody Martin, Kendall Stephens and Lindsey Drew earn postseason honors in 2017-18. Caleb Martin garnered Associated Press honorable mention All-American, MW Player of the Year, MW Newcomer of the Year, MW first team, USBWA District VIII Player of the Year, USBWA VIII team and first-team NABC District 17 honors in his junior campaign. Cody Martin earned 2018 MW Defensive Player of the Year honors, was selected the MW second team and to the MW Defensive team. Kendall Stephens earned third-team MW honors after setting the conference and school record with 126 made 3-pointers. Lindsey Drew joined Caleb Martin on the MW Defensive team.
In 2018-19, both Argenal and Dunson played a part in Caroline and Caleb Martin being selected to the all-conference first team for the second consecutive season, Cody Martin was named to the third team. Jazz Johnson was chosen as the the Sixth Man of the Year. Caroline and both Martins were selected to the defensive team. Prior to the season the Martin twins and Caroline were named to the 2018-19 MW media preseason team. Caroline and Caleb Martin were also named to the United States Basketball Writers Association District VIII team today for the second year in a row. Caleb Martin was named the District VIII Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Argenal spent four seasons as the head coach of the Cal State East Bay Pioneers, an NCAA division II school located in Hayward, Calif.
Prior to being named the head coach at Cal State East Bay he was an assistant coach during the 2012-13 season at Rice. He spent the 2011-12 year at UC Davis as an assistant coach after a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Chico State (2008-11). From 2006-08 he was the director of operations at UT San Antonio. His first stint as an assistant coach at UCD came in 2005-06 after working as a graduate assistant at Arizona State in 2004-05.
Argenal, a college point guard played at UC Davis and still holds the Aggies single game record with 13 assists. His senior season he topped the Aggies in assists and steals and helped the 2003-04 team post and 18-9 record. He received his undergraduate degree in history from UCD in 2004 and earned a master's degree in education from Arizona State in 2005.
"Gus brings a desired energy that is contagious along with a well-rounded perspective that includes head coaching experience with stops at Arizona State, Nevada, Cal State East Bay, UTSA and Rice," Taylor said. "I am certain his experience will continue our advancement towards graduating our young men, winning conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances."
Prior to Nevada, Dunson spent the previous two seasons at the Director of Basketball Development at Stanford. At Stanford, he was responsible for assisting in implementing recruiting strategies and opponent scouting. Additionally, he oversaw the programs video services. He helped the Cardinal place third in the Pac-12 and reach the NIT last season.
Before Stanford, Dunson spent three seasons as the associate head coach at Arizona Christian University. At ACU, he handled recruiting, scouting and prospect development. Dunson also worked as a professional basketball consultant and served as the Associate Program Director for the Team Illinois Education & Athletics Program.
A Bloomington, Ill. Native, Dunson played collegiately at Wabash Valley College, Arizona State and Azusa Pacific. After college, he played professionally in Mexico's Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional.
"Brandon is a young coach that is wise beyond his years," Taylor said. "He finished his playing career as an explosive, productive player and immediately transitioning into coaching. He has seen college coaching from many levels and many angles. His ability to relate to young men from all walks of life gives him an added advantage that we covet. During stints at Stanford, Nevada and Arizona Christian he has quickly distinguished himself as a high level floor coach with emphasis in scouting opponents and skill development as well being very effective in the recruiting world."
Argenal and Dunson will look to help the Titans continue the streak of three straight postseason tournament appearances, the first time in program history it has been done.
"The addition of both Gus and Brandon joining Anthony Santos gives us a dynamic staff, filled with energy, a focus on skill development and most importantly an emphasis on relationships," Taylor said.
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