COC to hire Hester as women’s basketball coach 

Robin Hester
Robin Hester

News release  

The College of the Canyons Athletic Department has announced its intention to hire longtime Ventura College top assistant Robin Hester as the next head coach of the Cougars’ women’s basketball program.  

Hester is expected to begin his new role in summer 2024. 

“I am thankful and humbled to be asked to lead the women’s basketball program at College of the Canyons,” Hester said in a COC news release. “I would like to thank Chad Peters and the hiring committee for this opportunity. My family and I are looking forward to joining the Canyons Athletics community.” 

Hester assumes the reigns at Canyons after a two-year stint by former head coach John Wissmath, who continues to lead the college’s softball program. Prior to Wissmath’s tenure, longtime head coach Greg Herrick was at the helm of the program for 30 years until retiring in June 2022. 

“We’re very excited to welcome Robin Hester to the Cougar Family,” Peters, dean of kinesiology, health and wellness, fitness, and athletics at the college, said in the release. “Robin brings a unique perspective to the bench after having worked in community college athletics for nearly 30 years. 

“He understands and embraces the tradition of College of the Canyons women’s basketball,” added Peters. “Robin’s knowledge of the game, professionalism, and ability to help move student-athletes on to the next level will be paramount to the continued success of our program. The future is bright.” 

Hester’s coaching career has spanned 33 years with experience at the high school, community college and NCAA levels, having led both men’s and women’s programs. In all, he has totaled 1,012 games on the bench, with 741 of those contests ending in wins. 

Hester’s run with the Pirates spanned 23 seasons and included an overall record of 580-132 (.814 winning percentage) and 18 Western State Conference North Division titles while working alongside Ventura women’s basketball head coach Ned Mircetic. Those numbers also include a 39-18 postseason record with 10 trips to the Elite Eight and 3C2A state championships in 2002, 2010 and 2014.  

While at Ventura, Hester was an adjunct faculty member in kinesiology and health education and a part of the college’s curriculum committee. He also served as interim athletic director in 2015-16 and has been the athletic department’s sports information officer since 2010.    

“I am excited at the prospect of moving the Canyons women’s basketball program forward,” added Hester, “and putting together a program of which the entire Santa Clarita Valley can be proud.” 

Canyons women’s basketball completed the 2023-24 season with a 14-15 overall record and 7-7 mark vs. conference opponents to finish tied for fourth in the WSC South Division. COC advanced to the playoffs for the second year under Wissmath but was eliminated from postseason play in an opening round loss at East L.A. College. 

Historically, the program has won 16 WSC South Division championships and made 27 appearances in the 3C2A Southern California Regional Postseason. 

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