LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State has found its new head basketball coach. Interim Director of Athletics Jerry Bovee announced Friday that Danny Sprinkle has been named the Aggies’ 21st head men’s basketball coach.
Sprinkle is 81-43 (.681) in four years as a head coach and has 23 years of collegiate coaching experience, and led Montana State to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
A press conference to formally introduce Sprinkle will be held at the Wayne Estes Center on Monday, April 10, at noon.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to be a part of Utah State basketball and the unbelievable tradition created by all the former players and coaches,” Sprinkle said. “I want to thank President (Noelle) Cockett and Jerry Bovee for their belief in me. As for the Spectrum, it is one of the best home-court atmospheres in the country, and I can’t wait to work with The HURD and get that place rocking.”
“We are thrilled to announce Danny Sprinkle as Utah State’s new men’s basketball head coach,” Bovee said. “Danny checked all the boxes we were looking for as he is driven, energetic and motivated. He is also an excellent coach and proven recruiter. His skill set aligns perfectly with our mission of developing outstanding student-athletes on and off the basketball court, competing for conference championships and advancing to postseason play.”
Sprinkle takes over for Ryan Odom, who left to become the head coach at VCU last week. Since Odom’s departure, starters Max Shulga, Sean Bairstow and Steven Ashworth all entered the transfer portal.
Sprinkle comes to Utah State after spending the past four years as the head coach at Montana State, leading the Bobcats to an 81-43 (.653) record, including 49-23 (.681) in the Big Sky Conference. He led MSU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2022 and 2023 as the Bobcats were the regular season Big Sky Champions in 2022 and won the Big Sky Tournament in both the 2022 and 2023 campaigns. It was just the fourth- and fifth-ever NCAA Tournament appearances in program history and first since 1996.
In his four years at Montana State, Sprinkle led the Bobcats to back-to-back Big Sky Championships and three-straight conference championship game appearances for the first time in school history, and consecutive 25-win seasons for the first time since 1927-29.
This past season, Sprinkle led Montana State to a 25-10 overall record and its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. It marked the first time the Bobcats had back-to-back 20-win seasons since 1994-96. Three Bobcats earned all-conference honors, while two players garnered individual accolades (Defensive Player of the Year and Top Reserve). Two Montana State players earned all-tournament honors, including Big Sky Tournament MVP RaeQuan Battle.
In 2021-22, Montana State wrapped up a 27-8 overall record and advanced to its first NCAA Tournament in 26 years after winning both the Big Sky regular season and tournament championships. The 27 victories were the most for the program since the Golden Bobcats era, which saw the 1928 and 1929 teams each go 36-2, while the 1927 squad went 30-7.
Sprinkle was honored for his 2021-22 squad’s achievements by being named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year. He also was named a Hugh Durham Award finalist, presented annually to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball. MSU also finished the season in the CollegeInsider.Com Men’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll for the first time in 20 years.
Montana State’s rise among its Big Sky peers was on display to end the 2020-21 season as the Bobcats returned to the Big Sky Conference tournament championship game for the first time in 12 years. Sprinkle became the first Montana State head coach to lead the program to the Big Sky Championship game during his opening two seasons at the helm. The Bobcats had three players selected to all-Big Sky Conference teams, which were the most for Montana State since 2006.
Sprinkle’s tenure got off to a strong start as MSU completed its 2019-20 schedule with a 16-15 overall record, its first winning record in 10 years. The 16 wins tied for the most for the program since the 2001-02 season, which had been the last year MSU won a Big Sky regular season title. He was named a finalist for the 2020 Joe B. Hall Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top first-year coach in Division I college basketball.
A Helena (Montana) High School graduate, Sprinkle’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant at CSUN in 2000-01. He spent five more seasons with the Matadors before spending two years in Bozeman as an assistant coach. Sprinkle returned to CSUN for five more season as an assistant coach and then spent six seasons as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton.
Sprinkle added duties as recruiting coordinator at each of his coaching stops. He helped lead Cal State Fullerton to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 for just the third time in program history. The year before that, the Titans competed in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. He was also part of CSUN’s 2001 and 2009 NCAA Tournament teams, with the Matadors winning the Big Sky regular season crown in 2001 and the Big West title in 2009.
As a Bobcat freshman in 1996, Sprinkle was a starter during the team’s magical run to Big Sky regular season and tournament championships, landing all-Big Sky Tournament honors for his 30-point performance in the championship game. Sprinkle earned Big Sky Freshman of the Year honors in 1996 and was all-league three consecutive seasons, including his first-team selection in 1997. He held the MSU career and season 3-point records upon graduation and remains the eighth-leading scorer in school history. Sprinkle was a member of the 1996 team inducted into the Montana State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006 and was formally inducted for his individual efforts in 2021.
Born in Pullman, Washington, Sprinkle enjoyed an outstanding career at Helena HS, which included earning all-state honors twice in basketball, while also competing in football and track. He graduated from Montana State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in health and human development.