Steve Fisher, who led Michigan to the 1989 national championship, has retired as San Diego State head coach. The Aztecs officially will announce Fisher’s longtime assistant Brian Dutcher as the replacement.
Steve Fisher burst onto the coaching scene 28 years ago, when he took over Michigan just before the 1989 NCAA Tournament and led the Wolverines to the national championship. But after 495 career victories, Fisher has decided to hang it up.
The San Diego Union-Tribune learned Monday that the 72-year-old Fisher will retire effective immediately as San Diego State’s head coach, and a press conference is scheduled for Tuesday to formally announce Brian Dutcher, Fisher’s longtime assistant, as his replacement.
The only six games Fisher acted as head coach for Michigan during the 1988-89 season came during the NCAA Tournament after then-coach Bill Frieder accepted the Arizona State head coaching job for the following season. Then-athletic director Bo Schembechler wouldn’t allow Frieder to coach in the Tournament and named Fisher interim coach.
It’s widely believed Fisher wouldn’t have retained the job had Michigan not won the national title, but he remained coach until resigning in October 1997, when he was fired following a scandal that involved players taking extra benefits.
Fisher landed at San Diego State in 1999 and turned around a program that was in shambles prior to his arrival. The Aztecs reached the NCAA Tournament by his third season, the first of eight during his 18-season tenure. SDSU’s six-year streak of reaching the Tournament ended this season, as the Aztecs finished 19-14.
Dutcher was an assistant under Fisher at Michigan during the national championship season and remained there until 1998. He then followed Fisher to San Diego State in ’99 and was named the coach-in-waiting in 2011.