Pepperdine hopes return of Asbury leads to success

Pepperdine on Tuesday announced it will introduce Tom Asbury as its men's basketball coach at a 1 p.m. news conference today, with Athletic Director John Watson calling him "a major reason why Pepperdine was the class of the West Coast Conference" for 15 years during the 1980s and early '90s.

Asbury, 62, took the Waves to the NCAA tournament three times as coach from 1988-94, and was an assistant under Jim Harrick from 1979-88.

"We're looking forward to his return to the bench and I believe he will again make Pepperdine a team that competes for league championships and postseason bids," Watson said.

Interim Coach Eric Bridgeland, who Watson said "has done a terrific job keeping our team together in some very difficult circumstances" after the resignation of Vance Walberg, will finish the season as coach of the 9-18 Waves.

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-- Robyn Norwood

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