MISSION VIEJO - The Saddleback men's basketball program was back in the news over the weekend when former player and assistant coach T.J. Lipold saw his Eastern Washington University squad announced as a participant in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Lipold was both a player and a coach at Saddleback and became an assistant at Eastern Washington after serving other roles for the program.
Eastern Washington earned their way into the tournament with a 65-55 win over Montana State University on Saturday. They then sat around and waited to see where they would be seeded for the tournament on Sunday. In the end, the Eagles garnered the No. 14 seed and will play the University of Kansas on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis (10:15 AM, PST).
Lipold played for two years at Saddleback, helping the basketball program win the 2009-10 CCCAA State Championship with a 63-57 win over City College of San Francisco. He was an All-Orange Empire Conference selection as a player and is a member of the Saddleback College Athletics Hall of Fame.
Lipold started his coaching career at Saddleback as an assistant coach for three years, helping Saddleback to yet another state title in 2015. He then moved on to Eastern Washington where he served as an assistant director of basketball operations/video coordinator. Lipold was named an assistant coach at Eastern Washington prior to the 2020-21 season.
(Saddleback College Athletics)