Riccardo Fois Joins Arizona Staff as Assistant Coach
TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona men's basketball head coach Tommy Lloyd announced the addition of Riccardo Fois as an assistant coach for the Wildcats. Fois has served as a player development coach for the Phoenix Suns the last two seasons and has experience on the coaching staff with the Italian national team.
"Ricky is a rising star in the coaching profession," Lloyd said. "We are fortunate to have him here at Arizona with us. His passion for teaching the game and helping build a great day-to-day culture is something that I really value. Now that our staff is complete, we look forward to an exciting future."
Over the last two seasons, Fois (Pronounced "FOYCE") has played a role in Suns' ascent in the NBA's Western Conference. After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2020, Phoenix got off to its best start to a season since 2014 and positioned itself as one of the top seeds in the West in 2021 behind the development of former Wildcat and No. 1 overall NBA Draft Pick Deandre Ayton, All-Star Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges.
"First, I must thank Mr. Sarver, GM James Jones and head coach Monty Williams. I could not have been more fortunate to work with better leaders than those three. I truly owe them everything for the amazing opportunity they gave me the past two seasons with the Phoenix Suns. I woke up with a smile every day, knowing I was working with amazing people, coaches, performance staff, front office and for the best fans in the NBA. And finally, I want to thank the players. They are an incredible group of young men who defeated all the odds with hours and hours of work outside of the spotlight. The highs and lows that I shared with them starting with my first season, then going to the bubble and then advancing to the NBA finals in 2021 are memories that will always be with me. It was a thrill to be a small part of the team's resurgence. I know this is just the beginning for them and the best is yet to come.
"Coach Lloyd and I have developed a close relationship over the years, going back to my time at Gonzaga. We share the same vision for the program - recruit the best players on and off the court and do everything we can to make them better in both of those areas. He is an outstanding coach and an even better person and I'm excited to join his staff as an assistant coach at the University of Arizona."
Prior to joining the Suns staff, spent five seasons working with Lloyd in a variety of roles on the coaching staff at Gonzaga. As the director of analytics with the Zags, he handled video breakdown and exchange while also providing player analytics and assisting the coaching staff on a day-to-day basis.
Gonzaga advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in each of his five seasons in Spokane, highlighted by a run to the national championship game, which was played in Phoenix, during the 2017 season.
Prior to joining the staff at Gonzaga, Fois played professionally in Serie B Basket in Italy from 2009-12 and was a member of Italy's U16 team that played in the FIBA European U16 Championship in Madrid in 2003. As a member of the Italian junior national team program from 2004-08, he was teammates with Danilo Gallinari and Gigi Datome.
Fois first arrived in the United States to play basketball at Pepperdine for the 2007-08 season and earned his bachelor's degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. He returned to the Waves as a graduate assistant (2012-14) and picked up his master's in business administration.
A native of Olbia, Italy, Fois was an assistant coach for the Italian national team at FIBA EuroBasket 2017, coaching alongside legendary Italian coach Ettore Messina, and is still part of the staff with the national team. He also served as video coordinator for the 2015 USA Basketball Pan-American Games team, coached by Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, that won a bronze medal in Toronto.
"Coach Fois has been essential to my development in my basketball career. He has a passion to help individuals improve and will push them to be the best player and person they can be. His work ethic is top notch and the players and staff at Arizona will benefit from being around him every day."
Domantas Sabonis, NBA All-Star with the Indiana Pacers
"Riccardo is one of the most hard working people I know. All he cares about is getting people better and winning. The best thing about him is he's an even greater person. He helped me a lot with developing my game and never letting me get too comfortable. I'm going to miss my guy and I wish him the best!"
MIkal Bridges, Phoenix Suns