Assoc. Head Coach, 15th year at Arizona
Entering his 15th year at Arizona, Jim Rosborough (pronounced ROZZ burr oh) has proven himself to be one of the top game strategists around - a role he has developed in 24 seasons working alongside Lute Olson. His expertise and familiarity of the Olson system is one of the keys and driving forces that has established the Arizona program as one of the finest in the country, both on and off the court.
The 2002-03 campaign saw Rosborough put in some of his best work. He turned a senior, a sophomore and three freshmen into arguably the finest perimeter group, a group that was the driving force behind a club that won 28 games, spent 13 weeks atop the Associated Press' top-25 poll and won the school's 10th Pac-10 championship. With Rosborough's assistance, Arizona has nine 25-win seasons in the last 14 years.
Rosborough's cool demeanor was essential in 2001-02 as the Wildcat staff molded a squad made up of three juniors and seven underclassmen into the eventual Pac-10 Tournament Champions and NCAA Tournament Sweet "16" participants. With Rosborough's assistance as a motivator and strategist, Arizona met the challenge of the nation's most difficult schedule and won more than 20 games for the 15th consecutive season.
One needs to look no further than his performance during Olson's leave of absence in the middle of the 2000 01 season to realize just how crucial Rosborough is to Wildcat basketball. Despite high emotions on and off the court, he led the team to a 3 1 Pac 10 record in Olson's absence, including a road sweep of the Washington schools that many surrounding the team considered the turning point of the season as the Cats eventually finished as the NCAA runner-up. His knowledge of the system and leadership presence allowed the team to continue with as little interruption as possible.
Rosborough was promoted to associate head coach following Arizona's 1996 97 NCAA championship season in a move that gave him expanded duties within the program and demonstrated his invaluable position in the Arizona basketball program. In his career, he has made 20 trips to postseason play, including four Final Four appearances, and has helped 14 Arizona teams win just under 80 percent of its games since joining the program in April of 1989.
Game preparation and defense are Rosborough's main focuses for the Cats and it is no coincidence that those have been crucial elements of Arizona's two most recent Final Four appearances. He also works with Arizona's perimeter players and has helped the Cats produce four backcourt first team All Americans in the past five seasons, including 1998 99 National Player of the Year Jason Terry, as well as 1997 98 Player of the Year finalists Mike Bibby and Miles Simon, and 2003 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Player of the Year Jason Gardner. Those four, along with 1994 95 All American and former NBA Rookie of the Year Damon Stoudamire, cite Roz's coaching as a reason for their success. It's no secret that Rosborough has helped turn Arizona basketball into "Point Guard U." All told, Rosborough has produced 36 NBA Draft picks.
Rosborough also directs the Lute Olson Basketball Camps, oversees most daily office operations and is greatly involved with the academic progress of the players. In addition, he has been closely involved in recruiting efforts that have consistently attracted top flight classes, including the incoming 2003 04 class, which is ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
Rosborough, who will turn 59 in December, was a top aide to Olson at Iowa from 1974 to 1983. While there, he built a solid reputation during the rebirth of Hawkeye basketball in the 1970s that included six 20 win seasons, five NCAA berths, a Big Ten title in 1979 and a Final Four appearance in 1980. As a recruiter on those early Hawkeye teams, he had repeated success in Chicago, drawing four starters from the Windy City for Iowa's Final Four club that included All Americans Ronnie Lester and Kevin Boyle along with Steve Krafcisin and Kenny Arnold. He was also responsible for recruiting 16 future NBA draft picks to Iowa City and he helped design a defense which twice led the Big Ten in scoring defense.
When Olson departed for Arizona, Rosborough remained an assistant to Iowa athletic director Bump Elliott and did color commentary for Hawkeye basketball. He was then an aide to J.D. Barnett at Tulsa for a year, where he helped guide the Golden Hurricanes to an NCAA tournament appearance.
Rosborough took his first head coaching position at Northern Illinois University in April, 1986. He posted a record of 28 56 in three seasons at NIU (1987 89), but his first recruiting class went on to a 26 5 record and NCAA Tournament bid in its senior season.
Rosborough is in his 30th season of intercollegiate athletics at the Division I level. A 1962 graduate of Moline (Ill.) High School where he was an all state forward, Rosborough was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on April 27, 2002, to honor his outstanding prep playing career. In 2003, he was elected to the Board of Trustees at Epworth Heights in Ludington, Mich., his summer vacation home.
He received his bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1966 from Iowa and earned his teaching certificate from Loyola (Ill.) in 1970.
He and his wife, Kim, have two sons, Greg (20), a UA basketball video manager, and Jon (19). Rosborough, a crafty veteran of the Tucson tennis circuit, was born on Dec. 2, 1944, in Davenport, Iowa. He and Kim were married in Iowa City, Iowa.