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Embry-Riddle names Michael Trujillo next women’s basketball coach

College Basketball

Michael Trujillo was named the next head women's basketball coach for Embry-Riddle, the university announced Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Trujillo spent the last four years as an assistant coach for Idaho State of the Big Sky Conference. (ERAU/Courtesy)

Michael Trujillo was named the next head women's basketball coach for Embry-Riddle, the university announced Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Trujillo spent the last four years as an assistant coach for Idaho State of the Big Sky Conference. (ERAU/Courtesy)

Trujillo served as assistant coach for Big Sky schools Idaho State, NAU

PRESCOTT — After an extensive national search, Embry-Riddle named Michael Trujillo as its next head women’s basketball coach, the university announced Tuesday afternoon.

Trujillo becomes the second head coach in program history after Becky Burke resigned in April to take the same job at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.

Trujillo comes to Prescott after spending four years as an associate women’s head coach at Idaho State.

“I would like to thank Chancellor Ayers, Larry Stephan, Jaime Long and the entire search committee for believing in my abilities to lead this program and build a championship culture,” Trujillo said in a statement released by the Eagles’ athletic department.

Before coaching the Bengals in the Big Sky Conference, Trujillo spent three seasons as the head coach of Texas A&M-Kingsville, a NCAA Division II program, and was an assistant coach at Texas State prior to that position.

“Coach Trujillo has a wealth of coaching experience and is a valuable addition to the Embry-Riddle athletic department,” Long said. “His knowledge and enthusiasm for the game of basketball will help take our women’s basketball team to the next level.”

The Denver, Colorado, native takes over an Eagles program that finished 21-6 in 2017-18 and made the California Pacific Conference Tournament semifinals before losing 89-84 to UC-Merced. Embry-Riddle finished 11-3 in Cal-Pac play and made the NAIA Top 25 ranking list for the first time in program history under Burke.

Embry-Riddle, which enters its third season in existence this winter, returns eight juniors and one sophomore.

Trujillo said Tuesday that he’s spoken with each of the players and they are already excited for next season.

“We’re on the verge of playing for a championship. There was a lot of energy in their voice. They are excited to get going,” Trujillo said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Trujillo has ties to Arizona, where he worked for Charli Turner-Thorne at Arizona State for one season (2002-03), and was an athletic director and coach (1996-2001) at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff.

He also spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant coach for the women’s team at Northern Arizona University under Lauri Kelly. The Lumberjacks went 20-12 that season, making it all the way to the Big Sky Conference Tournament championship game after upsetting No. 25 Montana only to lose to Idaho State.

NAU has not won a conference tournament game since that season.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.