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Arizona announces hiring of ‘rising star’ Riccardo Fois to complete coaching staff

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Practice Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats officially announced the hiring of Riccardo Fois as an assistant coach on Monday. He joins head coach Tommy Lloyd, associate head coach Jack Murphy and fellow assistant Steve Robinson on UA’s staff.

“Ricky is a rising star in the coaching profession,” Lloyd said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have him here at Arizona with us. His passion for teaching the game and helping build a great day-to-day culture is something that I really value. Now that our staff is complete, we look forward to an exciting future.”

Fois, 34, has spent the last two seasons in a player development role for the Phoenix Suns and previously spent five seasons working with UA head coach Tommy Lloyd at Gonzaga—four as the program’s director of analytics.

Fois, pronounced “Foyce”, released this statement:

“First, I must thank Mr. Sarver, GM James Jones and head coach Monty Williams. I could not have been more fortunate to work with better leaders than those three. I truly owe them everything for the amazing opportunity they gave me the past two seasons with the Phoenix Suns. I woke up with a smile every day, knowing I was working with amazing people, coaches, performance staff, front office and for the best fans in the NBA. And finally, I want to thank the players. They are an incredible group of young men who defeated all the odds with hours and hours of work outside of the spotlight. The highs and lows that I shared with them starting with my first season, then going to the bubble and then advancing to the NBA finals in 2021 are memories that will always be with me. It was a thrill to be a small part of the team’s resurgence. I know this is just the beginning for them and the best is yet to come.

“Coach Lloyd and I have developed a close relationship over the years, going back to my time at Gonzaga. We share the same vision for the program - recruit the best players on and off the court and do everything we can to make them better in both of those areas. He is an outstanding coach and an even better person and I’m excited to join his staff as an assistant coach at the University of Arizona.”

Prior to Gonzaga, Fois was a graduate assistant at Pepperdine from 2012-14. The Italy native played for the Waves in 2008 before going pro in his home country for a few years.

Most of Lloyd’s hires so far have had Gonzaga connections, including director of scouting Ken Nakagawa, director of player development Rem Bakamus, and recruiting coordinator TJ Benson.