Q&A: Greenberg talks past, future LBSU basketball
2013 inductee Seth Greenberg talks about his career at LBSU.
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Q: When you left Long Beach State in 1996, what went into that decision? What was the opportunity that you saw at South Florida?
Seth Greenberg: It was a really difficult decision. When I look back, it’s probably a decision that almost cost me my coaching career.
It was more out of frustration. It was a year we had a terrific year in the Big West Conference and lost in the tournament and didn’t get picked to go anywhere. It was more out of frustration, and I didn’t know where the Big West Conference was going. The league was kind of spiraling a little bit in the wrong direction; that was a time of realignment — another time of realignment.
It was a difficult, difficult decision. I had a great president to work for in Dr. [Robert] Maxson. I was hired by a terrific athletics director in Corey Johnson and worked for a great one in Dave O’Brien. I was a very difficult decision.
Q: Looking back, when you were at LBSU, what was the one moment or moments that were the best?
G: There are so many moments. Everyone will talk about the Kansas win. They were No. 1 in the country going into Allen Fieldhouse; not many people do that. Not many people win in Allen, let alone win when they’re No. 1 in the country.
The first NCAA tournament bid and seeing those freshmen grow and mature from the [National Invitational Tournament] to making the NCAA tournament, and seeing them grow and mature as a team. That was really rewarding, especially the way we did here in Long Beach and in Long Beach Arena.
The second NCAA tournament, that was a group of guys that came together. We had Joe McNaull, who was a one-year transfer and a group of guys that really embraced their roles.
The thing that I really remember the most are the relationships and the players. We’ve got a bunch of them here tonight. That’s what you coach for, to get guys get somewhere they can’t get themselves, and by doing that they helped me get somewhere I never thought I’d be.
Q: Now you’re with ESPN as an analyst. Could you see yourself coaching in the future?
G: I’ve really got a great opportunity at ESPN. I’ve got a terrific role, and I’m enjoying it. I get to coach America and the fan.
You never say never, you never want to put yourself in that situation where you wouldn’t be … It’d have to be an ideal situation for me to come back and coach. I miss the competition, I miss helping a team get somewhere they can’t get by themselves, I miss the game planning.
I miss the relationships and influencing and impacting lives, but what I’m doing right now, in a different way, it’s rewarding. I get the best seat in the house for some of the best games. It’s not bad, and I’m still involved in a game that I don’t like, I love. It’s pretty cool.
Q: The team [LBSU] now, do you follow them at all?
G: Coach [Dan] Monson is a really good fit, and I should look forward to visiting with him today to find out about his team right now.