FORMER WAC COACH OF THE YEAR JOINS
STAMPEDE COACHING STAFF

Ray Lopes Joins Stampede after One Year as a Scout with
the San Antonio Spurs

BOISE, Idaho (October 5, 2006) – The Idaho Stampede announce the hiring of 2003 WAC Coach of the Year Ray Lopes as Assistant Coach for their inaugural season in the NBA Development League.

Lopes spent last season as a Personnel Scout for the San Antonio Spurs.

Prior to his NBA experience, the 1987 graduate of the Albertson College of Idaho was Head Coach at Fresno State University, compiling a cumulative 50-37 record over three seasons. In addition to his Coach of the Year award, he was also named CBS Sportsline Rookie Coach of the Year in 2003 and guided the Bulldogs to the WAC regular season title.

Stampede Head Coach Bryan Gates met Lopes during the 2000 & 2001 seasons, while Gates was Head Coach for the Oklahoma Storm of the USBL.

“Ray brings his knowledge of the game, his work ethic and his passion to the Stampede,” said Gates. “We are excited to have him on the staff, he will easily be able to connect with fans and will add a lot to not just the franchise, but to the Treasure Valley.”

Prior to his stint in Fresno, Lopes spent eight seasons as an Assistant Coach at the University of Oklahoma under then-coach Kelvin Sampson. Lopes is no stranger to success, helping the Sooners to eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, plus a trip to the Sweet 16 in 1999 and the 2002 Final Four. While at Oklahoma, the Sooners won at least 20 games five seasons in a row, averaging 26 wins per year, including a 31-5 record in 2001-02. The Sooners had a 187-74 record while Lopes was an assistant coach and won the 2001 and '02 Big 12 Tournament title. Oklahoma was no worse than a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament over his last three years.

“Coach Lopes is a great human being, he has so much integrity and is a great teacher of the game,” said Sampson, now Head Coach at Indiana University. “I was blessed to have him on my staff. This is a great opportunity for him.”

Lopes also served as an assistant coach under Sampson for one season at Washington State, where he helped the Cougars to a 20-11 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. He joined the Washington State staff after a four-year stint as an assistant at UC Santa Barbara from 1989-93 under head coach Jerry Pimm. The Gauchos posted a 73-44 record and advanced to three postseason tournaments. In 1990, UC Santa Barbara advanced to the second round of the NCAA Southeast Regional before losing to the Steve Smith-led Michigan State Spartans. That year, the Gauchos knocked off Tarkanian's great UNLV team that won 34 consecutive games and the NCAA title.

Lopes gained his first Division I coaching position in 1988 at Weber State under Denny Huston, where he tutored the Wildcat guards for one season. He began his coaching career at West Valley (Saratoga, Calif.) Community College as an assistant during the 1987-88 season. There he helped guide West Valley to a 23-7 record and a spot in the state tournament's Elite Eight. During his 14 seasons as an assistant coach, Lopes has been in the postseason 12 years, including 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.

A native of New Haven, Conn., Lopes moved to Hayward, Calif., as a junior in high school. He played two seasons at West Valley before transferring to Albertson College of Idaho. He played two years for the Coyotes and helped lead them to two consecutive district championships and trips to the NAIA National Championship in Kansas City. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Albertson College in 1987.

Lopes will be available for media interviews by appointment, Thursday, October 5 from 2-4 p.m. and Friday, October 6 from 9-11 a.m. Contact the Stampede Director of Media Relations to schedule an interview.

Lopes will also assist the team in a number of their community outreach efforts. Lopes and his wife, Pierrette, have two daughters, Alaina and Teylor, and a son, Trey. He will reside in Boise.

The Idaho Stampede franchise is entering its ninth season as a new member of the NBA Development League, and an affiliate of the Utah Jazz and Seattle SuperSonics. Individuals and Businesses interested in season tickets starting at only $175 should call (208) 388-4667 or visit idahostampede.com for more information about the upcoming season.

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IT’S A GREAT TIME OUT!
OPENING NIGHT- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24!