Arizona Basketball

Matt Brase’s Meaningful Work with Haiti’s National Team Makes it 35 Former Arizona Wildcats as Head Coaches


Matt Brase, Lute Olson‘s grandson and former player at Catalina Foothills High School and Arizona, describes his third year coaching the Haiti Men’s National Team a “rewarding project.”

“We have a great group of people trying to make it work for a country that needs hope,” Brase communicated to me.

Brase is one of 35 former Arizona athletes who are now head coaches (full list below).

Matt Brase talks to the Haiti National Team after a practice last summer (Haiti photo)

Brase and others have tried to recruit investors to help their project of operating the Haiti team, which had its first international competition in 37 years in July of 2018.

“Haiti is a third-world country and has no budget for the team we have been working on, and funding is always an issue,” said Brase, who has been forced to conduct practices mostly in Miami because Haiti lacks adequate sports facilities.

Matt Brase and Salim Stoudamire (far left) coach a team during the Lute Olson Fantasy Basketball Camp this summer (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Haiti went 4-0 and won its games by an average of 33 points in last summer’s competition. The Haitians defeated Barbados, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda and Bermuda at the International Basketball Federation AmeriCup Caribbean 2021 Pre-Qualifiers in Suriname.

Twelve hours before the semifinals, the Haiti team was disqualified from the competition by FIBA Americas, which cited its rule governing nationality. Only one player on a national team can be a naturalized citizen, the rule says, and proof of that has to be done prior to the 16th birthday.

Matt Brase, second to left, will be in his fourth year of coaching the Haiti national team next summer (Haiti photo)

Nine of the 11 players the team took to Suriname were born outside of Haiti. But they are Haitian, the team appealed, noting that the players’ parents are Haitian and, under Haiti’s law, that entitles them to a Haitian passport.

“We’ll be ready to participate again next summer,” said Brase, presently in his second season as a Houston Rockets assistant coach after being the head coach for three seasons of the Rockets’ G-League affiliate, Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

FORMER ARIZONA ATHLETES WHO ARE HEAD COACHES

List of head coaches of various sports and different levels who competed at Arizona.
NameYrs at UATeam SportTenure start
Amy Baray-Rocha1999Salpointe Catholic HSSoftball2015
Adia Barnes1995-99ArizonaWomen's hoops2016
Marcus Bell1996-99Eagar Round Valley HSFootball2011
Mike Bibby1996-98Hillcrest PrepBoys hoops2019
Matt Brase2003-05Haiti National TeamMen's hoops2017
Robert Bonillas1995-98Desert View HSFootball2012
Tod Brown1990-94North Dakota StateBaseball2007
Jackie Coburn2002-05Scottsdale Horizon HSSoftball2013
Debby Day1989-91Cal-LutheranSoftball2002
Terry Francona1977-80Cleveland IndiansMLB2013
Brenda Frese1989-93MarylandWomen's hoops2002
Kristie Fox2004-07UNLVSoftball2017
Jason Hisey1988-91Canyon del Oro HSBaseball2019
Krista Humphreys1993-96Corona (CA) Centennial HSSoftball2015
Stacey Iveson1986-89Israel National TeamSoftball2019
Mark Keel1979-82Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap HSFootball2000
Steve Kerr1983-88Golden State WarriorsNBA2014
Bill Kinneberg1979-80UtahBaseball2005
Michael Klyce2004-08Los Angeles Locke HSFootball2017
David Landrith1980-83Pusch Ridge HSBaseball2019
Hunter Long2013-15Douglas HSFootball2019
Michael Lopez2009-12Big Spring (TX) Howard JCBaseball2020
Paige Maggio2013-16Mountain View HSGirls soccer2018
Jennifer Martinez2008-09Abraham Baldwin (GA) JCSoftball2017
Scott McKee1999-02Sahuaro HSFootball2009
Craig McMillan1984-88Santa Rosa (CA) JCMen's hoops2000
Richard Mercado2002-04Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei HSBaseball2019
Edwin Mulitalo1995-98Southern VirginiaFootball2018
Josh Pastner1996-00Georgia TechMen's hoops2016
Jody Pruitt1990-93Peoria Sunrise Mountain HSSoftball2011
Rebekah Quiroz2002Pima CCSoftball2019
Brandon Sanders1995-98Pueblo HSFootball2014
Danielle Steinberg2005-09ColoradoWomen's tennis2018
Gina Snyder2018-19Manatee (FL) SqueezeSoftball2020
Jason Stewart1997-99Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito HSBoys hoops2014
Damon Stoudamire1992-95PacificMen's hoops2016
Luke Walton1999-03Sacramento KingsNBA2019


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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