Howard Fisher enters his 20th season at the helm of the College of the Canyons men’s basketball program, having established the Cougars into one of the most consistent programs in the Western State Conference (WSC).
Time and again Fisher’s teams have exceeded preseason expectations, including back-to-back WSC Championships in 2004 and 2005, and titles in 2007 and 2013. Fisher also earned Coach of the Year honors during those campaigns.
In his 19 previous seasons with College of the Canyons, Fisher has amassed an overall record of 274-269.
Fisher is only the second coach in college history, having followed former COC men’s basketball head coach, and mentor, Lee Smelser who headed the program for 31 seasons.
A passionate coach entering his 28th year overall at the college, Fisher has molded his basketball program into a perennial conference contender, while also helping to shape his student-athletes into community role models and well-rounded young men. Fisher’s commitment to recruiting talented individuals with solid character and citizenship has drawn the support of both the campus and community, which have come out in great numbers to watch the Cougars.
The College of the Canyons men’s basketball program is known for its attention to detail, hustling play and defensive prowess. COC and Fisher have a strong reputation for transferring quality student-athletes to compete at the next level. Under Fisher’s tutelage COC has garnered the respect of universities and colleges as a place to recruit quality student-athletes, with several COC basketball players having received scholarships to attend four-year institutions.
In 2017, Fisher coached the USA Youth Men's Basketball team to a Gold Medal at the 20th World Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Prior to his gold medal winning eperience Fisher also gained valuable international coaching experience while representing the United States as head coach in the Maccabi Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2007 — where he guided his Team USA squad (including former COC Cougar Jeremy Lake) to a silver medal. Fisher also led Team USA to a bronze medal in the 2006 Maccabi Australia International Games in Sydney, Australia, with an 86-51 win over the host Australian team. The 2006 games marked Fisher’s first appearance as a Maccabiah Games head coach. The team consisted of the nation’s top Jewish collegiate players. His other coaching experiences at the Maccabi games include: assisting Bruce Pearl (University of Tennessee) during the summer of 2008 at tryout camp for the U.S. squad for the Maccabiah Games in Israel; assisting Herb Brown (Charlotte Bobcats) in 1997 and 2001; and assisting Al Walker (Binghamton University) in 1993.
In addition, he is a past president of the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCMBCA), having recently completed a two-year term after serving as the association’s vice president for two years.
He also coordinated a free-agent camp in 1998 for the Des Moines Dragons of the International Basketball Association, a developmental league based in the U.S. and Canada. As an accomplished camp clinician, Fisher is a regular participant in basketball camps across the country.
Prior to joining College of the Canyons, Fisher also coached at Los Angeles City College and Whittier College. In his 10 seasons as an assistant coach at the community college level, Fisher contributed to five league titles, participated in the final eight and helped numerous players matriculate to four-year universities.
Fisher starting his coaching career at his high school alma mater, University High School in Los Angeles. He also gained additional coaching and administrative experience while working with American Roundball Corporation in AAU basketball.
As a player, Fisher was a member of the Rhode Island College team that advanced to post-season play. Prior to transferring back east, Fisher played at Los Angeles Pierce College. He also played overseas as a member of an all-star team that traveled to locations including China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Fisher holds a Master of Arts in Exercise Science from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from Whittier College. He also received his Associate Degree from Pierce College.
|Coach Fisher by the Numbers|
|274||Victories as head coach at College of the Canyons|
|19||Seasons as a head coach of the College of the Canyons men's basketball program|
|28||Seasons as a member of the College of the Canyons men's basketball coaching staff|
|4||Western State Conference championships with College of the Canyons|
|75||College of the Canyons players who have transferred to four-year schools|
|4||Western State Conference Coach of the Year Awards|
|7||CCCAA All-State Honorees|
|2||Western State Conference Players of the Year|
|40||First-Team All-Conference Players|
—Bio current as of Sept. 2019