PROVO -- BYU Men's Basketball Head Coach Steve Cleveland today announced that he will not be a candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Fresno State University.
"I have removed my name from consideration for the head coaching position at Fresno State," Cleveland said. "I appreciate Fresno State's interest. I have a great deal of respect for its athletic director Scott Johnson, and his vision for the university's entire athletic program. Because Fresno is home and because of my strong feelings about the university and the community, I knew I needed to take a sincere and genuine look at this opportunity. I am grateful for the enormous support I have felt from community, friends and family in Fresno and in Utah."
"We are extremely pleased with Steve's decision to remain at Brigham Young University," BYU President Merrill J. Bateman said. "We appreciate his commitment to BYU and the young men he has recruited. Each year his teams have exceeded our expectations. We knew it would take time to rebuild our men's basketball program, and Steve has done a remarkable job over the last five years in turning this program around. We look forward to a long relationship with Coach Cleveland."
"I am excited that Steve Cleveland will be BYU's men's basketball coach of the future," Director of Men's Athletics Val Hale said. "He has done a great job rebuilding the program over the last five years. He now has a solid foundation of existing players and promising recruits on which to build. BYU basketball has an exciting future. Next season can't come soon enough for me."
"I appreciate President Batemen and Val Hale's support through this process. BYU is an outstanding university, and it is an honor to be part of the athletic program," Cleveland said.
"These past three years we have seen the tradition of Cougar Basketball recaptured and a solid foundation is now in place."
Cleveland, who signed a multi-year contract with BYU in October, has compiled an 85-69 record in his five seasons since taking over a program that suffered a 1-25 record the year prior to his arrival. In the past three seasons, Cleveland has guided the Cougars to a 64-32 record and three straight postseason tournament appearances, including an NCAA bid and Mountain West Conference championship in 2001.
"I have a great love for the young men and coaches in our program at BYU," Cleveland said. "I am excited about coaching those players in our program and those currently serving missions. In the early years of building this program I made a commitment to many of these young men about my passion for this program's success. I shared a vision with them about what I believed we could become as a program. They trusted me and made a commitment to BYU at a time when it took some serious faith to do so. I am committed and passionate about helping these young men and the program reach its full potential."
"We are pleased that Steve has decided to remain at BYU and to continue to build our men's basketball program," BYU Advancement Vice President Fred Skousen said. "He and his coaches have done an outstanding job. We are excited about the future of BYU men's basketball under the leadership of Coach Cleveland."