College of the Desert hires Nguyen as Head Women’s Basketball Coach

College of the Desert Women’s Basketball has hired Henry Nguyen to helm the Roadrunners program.

“I’m excited about the challenge to rebuild and make an impact on the women’s basketball program. My vision aligns with the athletic departments. We want to be able to provide an awesome athletic experience for our students, give them a chance to play the game they are passionate about, and push them to become the best version of themselves away from the court,” commented Coach Nguyen. “I know what a rebuilding team looks like coming from OCC (Orange Coast College). When I first got there, the team was coming off a 2-14 season followed by the 2020 covid year. So, I know for a fact that a couple years of recruiting the right players, working hard, and setting a standard on the court and in the classroom can set up a competitive culture. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I’m willing to put in the time to help COD build a Women’s basketball program that will pursue excellence on the court, in the classroom, and in their communities.”

Coach Nguyen has been coaching basketball for 9 years. He has won two 3C2A Women’s State Championships as an Assistant Coach with Orange Coast Pirates of Costa Mesa in 2023 and 2024. He runs Rough Draft Basketball, a High School development program in Garden Grove that prepares Middle schoolers for High School basketball.

“I’m all about relationships with my players, parents, coaches, and the community. Two of my biggest passions in life are basketball and inspiring others to believe in something much bigger than what they could have imagined,” Coach Nguyen said in a recent interview with COD “I’m new to the area, but I believe those two passions can really resonate with players and coaches around the surrounding areas. I plan to support local high school and club teams any way I can. That could be hosting a skills clinic, attending a practice, or talking to teams about the experience playing at the next level and what coaches look for. I think giving back and learning is a great community connector.”

Prior to coaching, Coach Nguyen played at Orange Coast College for 2 years where he served as captain. He played 3 years Professionally Overseas in Vietnam where he competed and traveled around 10 different countries in Southeast Asia.

“I am a blend of old school and new school coach. I’m about hard work, discipline, and toughness, but we are also going to have a lot of fun in the process. I want this to be a memorable experience for our student athletes. I have a lot of empathy for today’s student athletes. I was a community college student athlete myself so everyone will find me relatable. I’m not going to tell you to do something I wouldn’t do myself,” commented Coach Nguyen. “My student athletes will see me coaching, demonstrating at full speed, playing, lifting weights, studying, and being involved in the community. The first two years of college is a transition for everybody. These students are trying to figure out how to max out their athletic ability on the court, while balancing school, work, relationships, and figuring out what they want to do with their life. I want to be able to use my own experiences, and my past student athlete’s experiences, to inspire our players to write their own story.”

Coach Nguyen graduated from California State Long Beach in 2017 with Dual B.S degree in Health Science Community Health and School Health Education. This summer 2024 he will graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University Irvine.

“I understand growth is not linear and there are going to be some ups and downs during competition. But I’m excited to see how we respond to adversity, how we adjust, and eventually grow. Because that is life!” continued Coach Nguyen.