SDSU basketball coach Steve Fisher. Photo courtesy SDSU News Center
SDSU basketball coach Steve Fisher. Photo courtesy SDSU News Center

Steve Fisher, who is credited with breathing life into the San Diego State University men’s basketball program and making the team a conference and national power, is expected to announce his retirement Tuesday.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday that Fisher has decided to step aside after 18 years with the university. SDSU officials did not immediately comment.

A news conference is expected Tuesday to make the formal announcement, with Fisher assistant and head-coach-in-waiting Brian Dutcher expected to be announced as Fisher’s replacement, according to the U-T report.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer took to Twitter to thank Fisher.

“Steve Fisher is a legendary coach,” Faulconer wrote. “Thanks Coach Fisher for transforming SDSU basketball and leaving behind an incredible legacy.”

Fisher, 72, had one more year on his contract. He has been the head coach since 1999.

Fisher took his teams to eight NCAA tournaments during his tenure and won the Mountain West regular season tournament 10 times. He took his team to the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, losing to eventual champion Connecticut.

Fisher previously coached at the University of Michigan. He was the head coach when the team won the NCAA championship in 1989, just weeks after the firing of coach Bill Frieder, who had accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State University just before the NCAA tournament began.

Two years later, Fisher was credited with assembling one of the best recruiting classes off all time — Michigan’s “Fab Five” group of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King and Juwan Howard. That team went to two national championship games but lost both.

Fisher was eventually fired by Michigan amid an investigation involving a team booster. He worked as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings for a season before his hiring by SDSU.

–City News Service