Houser Tabbed to Lead Columbus State Women’s Basketball Program

Columbus State University Director of Athletics Todd Reeser announced Tuesday the hiring of Matt Houser to lead the Lady Cougar basketball program.

Houser, who spent the past season as the assistant coach for CSU, will become the fourth head coach in the 31-year history of the program.

A combination of passion, vision and experience makes Matt Houser the perfect fit to lead the Columbus State University women’s basketball program into the future,” said Reeser. “During the past year, I was extremely impressed in Matt’s coaching ability and style, and since being name the interim, he has stepped in and taken control of the program.”

“Additionally, while I am excited about the leadership he will provide our women’s basketball student-athletes on the court, his intangibles will also establish a solid foundation for their off the court development. With this combination, I’m optimistic for the bright future of one of the most successful women’s basketball programs at the NCAA Division II level.”

After spending nearly two decades rising through the coaching ranks, Houser is a basketball savant with experience all across the world. In his first year in Columbus, Houser was in charge of a plethora of areas including recruiting, strength and conditioning and implementing scouting reports. The Lady Cougars didn’t disappoint grabbing wins against nationally and regionally ranked opponents including upsetting second-ranked Carson-Newman. CSU also reached the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship game for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

Under Houser’s tutelage, guards Tatiana Wayne and LeeAysia Williamson were named All-PBC performers with Wayne also garnering All-Southeast Region accolades.

“I want to thank President Dr. Chris Markwood and Director of Athletics Todd Reeser for giving me the opportunity to coach at one of the most premier NCAA Division II universities in the nation,” added Houser.  “Columbus State provides an unparalleled experience to its student-athletes, which I’m very delighted to be a part of. The faculty, staff and Columbus community have welcomed my family and myself with arms wide open and we are excited to continue to be members of the Cougar family.”

Houser arrived in Columbus from the west coast after stops at two California universities. He got into the collegiate ranks at Concordia University Irvine helping the Eagles turnaround a program in just one season. After having a losing record prior to Houser’s arrival, Concordia went 23-7 in 2014-15 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Tournament. Houser then went on to join the staff at Azusa Pacific University for three record-breaking seasons.

From 2015-18, Azusa Pacific posted a 71-23 overall record as the Cougars were a mainstay in the NCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll while making two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Azusa won two PacWest regular season championships and the 2016 PacWest Tournament title. The program also set records for wins in a season (28-4, 2015-16), most points in a game (128, 2017-18) and best 20-game start (18-2, 2017-18).

During his time at Azusa, Houser helped develop eight All-PacWest selections, two D2CACAA All-West Region players and the 2015-16 PacWest Player of the Year. Houser was also in charge of recruiting when the Cougars landed one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, including pulling in two more All-PacWest honorees to Azusa during the 2016 recruiting period.

Prior to his collegiate coaching experience, Houser was one of the top amateur girls basketball coaches in the state of California. He was the head coach at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. for five seasons. Houser was twice named the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) 3A Coach of the Year (2010 & 2014) and earned the title of Orange County Coach of the Year in 2014. During his time at Santa Margarita, the school won two CIF 3A titles and reached the state regional finals in his last  season at the helm.

Houser also founded OC Elite Inc. in 2006, which was constantly ranked inside the top-100 girls basketball programs in the nation, and one of only 20 to be sponsored by adidas.

A standout player in his own rights, Houser played professionally for eight seasons internationally. He made stops all across Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain, while earning countless accolades. He was named to the Euro Cup All-Tournament team and also earned a spot on the All-Defensive team during his time in Switzerland.

Collegiately, Houser played two seasons each at Chico State (1998-200) and Irvine Valley College (1996-1998). He led Irvine to a conference championship and was also selected as one of the top-75 junior college players in the state of California.

Houser earned his Bachelors of Science in business management from the University of Phoenix and his master’s in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia Irvine. He is married to Silvia and has two kids, Logan (six) and Clark (three).

One of the top NCAA Division II programs in the nation, Columbus State University has won a combined 11 PBC regular season and tournament championships while appearing in 11 NCAA Tournaments. In 30 years, CSU has produced 24 winning seasons while grabbing 20-wins in a year 14 times.