When Seattle Pacific head coach Grant Leep told him a spot was opening up on his staff, and he wanted Fazio to fill it, Fazio knew it was an offer he couldn’t ignore.
“I’ve had opportunities to coach college at some other levels and I haven’t accepted those jobs for my own reasons,” Fazio said on Tuesday afternoon. “Getting a chance to coach in the GNAC is a pretty big move. I’m excited, flattered and I think it’s a good fit.”
Fazio, who grew up in Seattle’s High Point neighborhood some ten miles away from SPU, leaves West Seattle High School after reaching the state tournament twice out of the highly competitive Metro League. The Wildcats finished third in state in 2017.
He spent 10 years at West Seattle, first as an assistant coach before taking over as head coach for the 2012-2013 season. He will most miss being a part of West Seattle’s program’s growth, which he helped orchestrate over six seasons, and seeing the positive effect high school sports can have on his players and in the community.
“In the same breath I’m proud to leave the school in the state it’s in,” Fazio said. “Coaches and players have built a competitive program.”
After the news broke on Tuesday, Fazio said he was inundated with congratulatory texts and calls. He will start on July 15 after finishing out the school year with Seattle Public Schools, where he works in special education.
Seattle Pacific finished second in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference and posted a 22-7 overall record. It lost to Saint Martins in the second round of the Division II NCAA men’s basketball tournament as a 2-seed, 67-63.