Franklin Connection - Serving Franklin County, WA

By Paul Delaney
Special to the Franklin Connection 

Shantay Legans departs EWU for University of Portland

Four years of success in Cheney earns hoops coach promotion to Pilots' job


Last updated 4/1/2021 at 5:30pm

After 12 years at Eastern, the last four as head coach, Shantay Legans departs for a new job at West Coast Conference University of Portland. Legans' teams played in three Big Sky Conference tournament championships, winning the most recent. His 2019-20 team won the league title but COVID-19 cancelled postseason play.

CHENEY — Eastern Washington's ever-improving basketball program has launched another coach out of Cheney.

Fresh from guiding his team to only the program's third berth in the NCAA Tournament, losing 93-84 to one of the legends in the sport, Kansas, Shantay Legans will next take over the University of Portland Pilots of the West Coast Conference.

At Eastern, Legans was a very impressive 75-49 (.605) overall and 53-20 in the Big Sky Conference (.726). Legans' .726 conference winning percentage is the best in the Big Sky in the last 30 years and second best all-time among coaches with at least four years in the league. Including Big Sky Conference Tournament games (7-2), Legans is 60-22 versus Big Sky Conference competition for a .732 winning percentage.

"My family and I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity at the University of Portland," Legans said in a university news release. 

An up and coming name in the sport, rumors of Legans move began to circulate at this year's NCAA tournament. He replaces former Portland Trailblazers' player Terry Porter who was 43-103 in five seasons with the Pilots.

As for Legans' replacement, Eastern had made it a practice in recent years to promote within its two major programs, football and basketball. Assistant coach Aaron Best ascended to the head coach's chair when Beau Baldwin left for the University of Cal-Berkeley Bears in 2017. Legans replaced Jim Hayford who took a job at Seattle University in 2017.

A name that has immediately surfaced as a prime candidate should that trend continue is associate head coach David Riley.

Paul Delaney is a retired former Free Press Publishing reporter and can be reached at [email protected].


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