2011-12 Big West Conference Coach of the Year
Jason Flowers begins his third season with the Matadors in
2012-13. The 12th head coach in school history, Flowers has quickly
and efficiently turned the Matadors into a conference
Under Flowers' tutelage, the Matadors experienced a tremendously successful season in 2011-12. The Matadors finished 17-14 overall and 11-5 in the Big West Conference to post the best turnaround in the nation and tie for 26th in NCAA in history. The Matadors opened the season 2-0 and picked up one of the program's hallmark victories in November, a one-point victory over West Virginia in the championship game of the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2011. In league competition, the Matadors swept three opponents and posted double-digit victories in their conference schedule for just the third time in the program's Division-I history. Although its aspirations for a league title ended in a bitter loss in the tournament quarterfinals, the Matadors earned an at-large berth for the Women's National Invitational Tournament, just the second postseason in the school's Division-I history. Following the season, Jasmine Erving earned All-Big West First Team honors, Janae Sharpe was named the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year and Second Team awards and Violet Alama and Ashlee Guay received All-Big West Honorable Mention honors. Finally, Flowers received the Big West Conference Coach of the Year.
In his first season at CSUN, Flowers began taking the steps towards building the Matadors into a threat in the Big West Conference. Northridge doubled its win totals against league opponents from the previous season, including a victory over conference co-Champion Cal Poly. The Matadors also picked up league victories at Pacific and UC Irvine and against Cal State Fullerton. In that win over the Titans, Jasmine Erving became the ninth player in school history to reach 1,000 points and eventually earned All-Big West Second Team honors for the second-straight season. The team's only freshman and Flowers' first recruit at the school, Haley White, was one of only two players in the conference to finish with over 100 assists. Off the court, his team had four players earn Academic All-Big West honors and the team saw four its members earn degrees following the end of the season.
Before arriving at CSUN, Flowers helped mold UC Riverside into an exceptional basketball program as an assistant coach. In 2009-10, the Highlanders earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament following their championship performance at the Big West Tournament. A year earlier, UC Riverside enjoyed a magical season in Flower's coaching debut as an assistant. The Highlanders chalked up 19 wins, a 14-2 league mark (the 14 wins are the most Big West wins in school history), produced the school's first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked Top-25 team, recorded a school record 13-straight wins and earned a berth in the WNIT.
Prior to his stint with the Highlanders, Flowers began his college coaching career at Long Beach State where he was an assistant coach for four seasons (2004-05 - 2007-08). While at Long Beach State, Flowers helped coach the 49ers to the 2005-06 Big West Conference championship, and developed eleven players into all-conference performers including the 2006 Big West Conference Player of the Year. His duties included player skill development, recruiting, and supervising team and individual camps. Flower's head coaching experience began at Valley High School in Santa Ana where he served as the head coach of the girls basketball program (2003-04).
In addition to his coaching experience, Flowers played division I basketball, splitting his time between UC Irvine and UCLA. As a player, Flowers was a Big West Scholar-Athlete in 1999 at UC Irvine, the 2000 recipient of the Coaches vs Cancer Scholar-Athlete Award, and in 2001, the UCLA Alumni Association Academic Award winner while a member of the Bruins basketball team. Following his graduation with a Sociology degree at UCLA in 2001, Flowers served as the team's academic coordinator from 2001-03 as well as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bruins.
Flowers played in 47 games (21 as a starter) in two seasons at UC Irvine (1997-98, 1998-99). His best games included a 25-point effort against Long Beach State and eight rebounds against New Mexico State in 1997-98. The following year (1998-99), Flowers tallied a career-high six assists against Cal State Fullerton and a career-high five steals against North Texas. Also in 1998-99, Flowers shot .472 from three-point territory.
Flowers' roots in Southern California are strong. Flowers graduated from Bellflower High School (Bellflower, Calif.) where he averaged 12.4 points and 6.5 assists in helping his team to a 21-5 record during his senior campaign. His efforts landed him a spot on the All-Suburban League first team. Flowers also played baseball where he also gained all-league honors.
Flower's coaching strength runs through the family. Flowers is married to Tairia Flowers, the Cal State Northridge softball head coach. Tairia was a member of the United States National Team (2001-08), won a gold medal as a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic softball team in Athens (Greece) and a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. The couple has one daughter - Jasmine, and one son, Jayce, who was born on April 26, 2010.