Terry Porter’s old number 30 is retired to the rafters in the Rose Quarter, and now he has a rosy outlook on raising some banners while blazing his own trail on the Bluff.
A sea of purple filing into the Chiles Center is what the University of Portland wants on game nights and it's what they got Tuesday to publicly celebrate and welcome Porter as the Pilots new head coach.
"We want the Chiles Center to become a hostile environment for everyone that steps through those doors," Porter said Tuesday.
The legendary Trail Blazer takes flight as the third ex-Blazer to navigate pilot’s men's basketball at the University of Portland.
Out of coaching in the NBA since 2014, the 52-year-old Portland icon is rested and will be tested with his first coaching gig in the college ranks.
"I thought it was a great time to get back into coaching,” Porter said. “I always thought I wanted to get back into coaching. It just worked out perfectly that now is the time to get back into it and I couldn't think of another better opportunity than becoming a member of the Pilot family."
Nights in the West Coast Conference this winter will pit father against son, as Porter's oldest, Franklin, will be a sophomore at St. Mary's, an experience Porter predicted would be “nerve racking.”
And what about that first game against the University of the Pacific, where Porter will share the sidelines with Wilson High and fellow Blazer alum Damon Stoudamire, who now leads the Tigers?
"Damon is someone I have a lot of respect for and I think the one thing, when you talk about the WCC, they do a tremendous job with the coaching,” Porter said. “They have always had great coaching in the conference and I am honored to a part of the tradition of having great coaches in this conference."
The Pilots last NCAA tournament run came 20 years ago, and prior to 1996 the team had not been in the tournament since 1959.
Climbing the ranks in the WCC will be tough for Porter and his team, as the conference has been dominated for years by Gonzaga and St. Mary’s.
"There has got to be steps,” Porter said. “We have got to go out and get the players that we need to consistently play at a high level every year and then continue to graduate."
The returning players who went 12-20 in the 10th and final season of previous head coach Eric Reveno are psyched to be coached up by a 17-year NBA pro, in what Porter said will be an “up tempo” style.
"Just another brain to pick at. He is so smart, he knows the game so well,” said junior guard Alec Wintering. “I am just kind of excited to get going, ask him questions in ways that I can improve, ways that he can help the team just from his knowledge of the game."
As for an incoming freshman class, porter doesn't have to recruit too far to nab a first team player in the state. Soon-to-be Jesuit graduate Malcolm Porter, the coach’s youngest son, told FOX 12 he plans to be a pilot.
“I want to stay home and play with my dad,” he said.
It is an opportunity for the Porter family to remain royalty in the City of Roses.
The rest of the Pilots coaching staff needs to be filled, and Porter announced Tuesday that Mike Burns will be the first member of his staff. Burns was last at the University of the Pacific.
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