SAN DIEGO — Recently retired San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher is eligible for selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Springfield, Massachusetts, organization announced Thursday.
Fisher, who retired after the 2016-17 basketball season, is one of three coaches to become eligible for the first time, along with still-active Bob Huggins of West Virginia and Willie West, who coached for decades and turned out numerous stars at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.
Fisher went from little-known assistant to household name in a matter of a couple of weeks when he led Michigan to the 1989 national championship, taking over the team when then-head coach Bill Frieder was fired after announcing he planned to leave for Arizona State.
Later, he and assistant Brian Dutcher recruited the famed “Fab 5” class that took the Wolverines to a pair of national championship contests. One of the Fab 5 members, Chris Webber, is also a hall candidate.
Fisher and Dutcher took over a moribund San Diego State program in 1999 and produced an 18-year record of 386-209, eight NCAA tournament appearances that included two Sweet 16s, and five NIT appearances that resulted in a pair of trips to Madison Square Garden in New York for the semifinals.
Dutcher succeeded Fisher after last season.
Star players eligible for the first time include Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash.
Finalists will be announced during NBA All-Star Weekend on Feb. 17 in Los Angeles. Induction is scheduled for September.