Steve Fisher won an NCAA championship as an interim head coach and parlayed that run into a quarter century of running his own programs. Now, at age 72, he has decided to step away from the bench.
Fisher has decided to retire after 18 seasons at San Diego State that came on the heels of eight full seasons as head coach at Michigan, ESPN reported Monday. His assistant Brian Dutcher is expected to take over the Aztecs, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Fisher has an overall record of 495–288 (.627) between the two schools, and though his stay in San Diego was far longer, he likely will be remembered by most for his work in Ann Arbor.
Fisher had been an assistant on Bill Frieder's Michigan Staff for seven years when Frieder took a job at Arizona State toward the end of the 1988-89 season. Frieder expected to stay with the Wolverines through the NCAA Tournament, but athletic director Bo Schembechler famously proclaimed, "A Michigan man is going to coach Michigan," and immediately installed Fisher as the head coach.
That began a magical run through March Madness in which a Wolverines team led by Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson went on to defeat Seton Hall for the national championship. Those six straight wins earned Fisher the full-time job, though he would never reach such heights again.
Three years later, Fisher was back in the Final Four as coach of the "Fab Five," featuring Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, but that star-studded recruiting class ended up falling in two consecutive national title games.
Fisher was later fired amidst an NCAA probe into recruiting violations but hooked on with the Sacramento Kings for a year before getting a second chance at San Diego State.
His first Aztecs team in 1999-2000 went 5-23, but SDSU has had only two losing seasons since, most recently in 2004-05. He led the Aztecs to the NCAA Tournament eight times, twice reaching the Sweet 16.