Men's Basketball Hires Director of Operations

June 7, 2005

Corvallis - John Saintignon, an experienced and successful high school coach in Arizona and Southern California, has been hired as the Oregon State men's basketball team's Director of Operations, head coach Jay John announced today.

'I've known John for a long time,' Jay John said. 'I coached him in high school and in an eighth-grade all-star game. He's very passionate about basketball. He really used an underdog mentality to prove he could compete as a player, and he was the top college scorer in the country one season. He has a very good basketball background, with a little bit of everything in his coaching and teaching career. He has a very engaging personality, which is critical in this profession.'

Saintignon (pronounced SAINT-new) was a teacher and the head coach at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, Ariz., in 2004-05. It was the first year that the school offered boys' varsity basketball.

'This is really the chance of a lifetime,' Saintignon said. 'I've always had the aspiration of being a collegiate coach. I watched OSU growing up, and having played in the `80s, I saw the school's success at that time. So being familiar with the program, and having the chance to work with Coach John, was something that I just couldn't turn down.'

He has also been a very successful head coach at Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson, Ariz. (2001-04); Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, Calif. (1995-01); and Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, Calif. (1992-95).

At Canyon del Oro, he was the 2001-02 Coach of the Year, his teams qualified for the 5A state tournament twice and he sent eight players onto college basketball rosters. At Bonita Vista, his team won the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship in 1999, a first for the school, and he was named Coach of the Year. His teams at Bonita Vista won 100 games and played in the CIF playoffs all six years. At Mar Vista, the 1994-95 team won the school's first league title in more than 30 years and reached the CIF playoffs three times, while he was named Coach of the Year in 1994-95.

Saintignon has been a coach or director at many basketball camps, including his own camps, the Superstar Invitational, the Michael Jordan Flight School and the Five-Star Basketball Camps in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was a speaker at the opening ceremony for the Pan-American Games in May 2003 in the Dominican Republic.

He graduated from UC San Diego in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He played one season there and spent his first three seasons at UC Santa Cruz. With the Banana Slugs in 1985-86, he led all three NCAA divisions with a 32.1 scoring average. He earned All-Conference honors all three of his years at UC Santa Cruz, and scored more than 2,450 points in his career. He went on to play professionally in Spain and Mexico for four seasons.

A native of Tucson, Ariz., he graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School (which is also Jay John's alma mater). Jay John was his freshman basketball coach at that school. Saintignon was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Saintignon is married (his wife's name is Angelica) and they have two children, Vicente (6) and Sebastian (2).

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