One of the “veterans” on the Orange Coast College Athletic Department, head coach Steve Spencer starts his 17th season in charge of the Pirate men's basketball program.
The 2014-15 Pirate squad played with a ton of enthusiasm and led by Spencer, Coast finished third in the Orange Empire Conference, surprising several "experts" along the way. Among the accolades for the Pirates last year included back-to-back wins over powerhouse Riverside City College for the first time in a decade.
In 2006-07, Spencer not only led the Pirates back into the playoffs for the second straight season, helped guide his club to the school’s first playoff win in 20 years with a 70-67 win over L.A. Southwest College. With a 17-15 record, it was the fourth year out of the previous five, and third straight, that the Pirates finished with a winning record.
Spencer helped guide the Pirates to one of the best seasons in recent memory in 2005-06. OCC finished with a 22-11 overall record, a second-place finish in the Orange Empire Conference standings and a playoff berth.
In 2002-03, Spencer led the Pirates to a 13-win turnaround, posting a 20-13 record that included a Southern California Regional playoff appearance.
Spencer came to Orange Coast before the 2001-02 season after a five-year stint as an assistant coach at UCLA under Steve Lavin. During his time on the Bruins' bench, Spencer helped UCLA to three "Sweet 16" appearances as well as the 1997 Pac-10 championship when the team advanced to the “Elite 8”.
Prior to joining his former high school teammate Lavin at UCLA, Spencer was an assistant coach from 1994-96 for the Adelaide 36ers of the Australian National Basketball League. He was also the head coach of the North Adelaide Rockets club team in 1995-96.
Spencer began his collegiate coaching career in 1989 at NCAA Division III power Cal Lutheran. During his five years as an assistant in the Kingsmen program, he guided the team to three conference titles and two Division III Sweet 16 appearances. During the 1993 season, the Kingsmen held the #1 ranking in the Division III poll for several weeks.
His coaching career got its start at his alma mater, Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, CA where he was the assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach from 1985-89. Spencer also was the commissioner of the NIKE/ARC Spring Basketball League in Marin City from 1987-89.
Spencer has been very active in the offseason running basketball camps. He is the former coaching director of the UCLA Basketball Camps as well as the former lead clinician of the Lavin, Dunlap, Pump and Shot Doctor Camps, the Magic Johnson and Pirate Basketball Camps.
A standout guard at Sir Francis Drake from 1976-78, Spencer was named first-team all-league, team captain and team MVP for his efforts during the 1977-78 season. He moved on to play at the College of Marin from 1979-81, twice earning Best Defensive honors as well as all-league recognition in 1980-81. He then transferred to Sonoma State, where he played guard during the 1983-84 season.
Spencer earned his A.A. degree in science from the College of Marin in 1981, in the process being awarded the Male Scholar/Athlete Dr. Harry Hensler Scholarship. His B.A. in physical education came next, completing that in 1985 at Sonoma State. He obtained his teaching credential with a physical education and biology supplement the following year, then earned his M.A. in counseling and guidance from Cal Lutheran in 1993.
An accomplished writer, Spencer has had several articles published by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and in Winning Hoops magazine.
Spencer, born April 24, 1960 in San Francisco, is single and is a physical education instructor at Orange Coast.