Gary Bell hired as assistant coach at Northern Arizona University following three years on staff at Gonzaga

Former Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Gary Bell was named an assistant coach for the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Wednesday afternoon.

Bell was most recently with his alma mater as the Coordinator of Basketball Administration during the 2021-22 season. Prior to that he spent two years as a Graduate Assistant for the Zags, coming back to Spokane after he finished up his professional playing career.

“Coach Bell brings that winning edge that every program wants,” Northern Arizona head coach Shane Burcar said in the school’s press release. “He started for four years at Gonzaga, played professionally and he has the credibility from Coach Mark Few and Coach Tommy Lloyd. He has recommendations from two National Coach of the Years who coached two No. 1 seeds in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. I can already tell that he’s going to be a great fit with us and he opens up recruiting ties in the West Coast.”

Bell’s experience under Few and Lloyd, two of the top coaches and recruiters on the west coast, clearly played a big role in his hiring down in Flagstaff. Lloyd’s recommendation carries an interesting wrinkle as his son, Liam, is a sophomore for the Lumberjacks as well – the very position group Bell was announced to be working with.

“I’m extremely excited to be here at NAU,” Bell said. “The culture that (Coach Burcar) is trying to build here is where I came from; the family atmosphere and being a hard worker to get better every day.”

Bell starred alongside Kevin Pangos in Gonzaga’s backcourt from 2011-2015. He appeared in 135 games, making 124 starts, and scored 1,291 points (22nd in school history when he graduated) while nailing 219 three-pointers at a cool 41% clip.
Bell spent time in Poland and Greece before returning to Gonzaga to begin his journey into the coaching field. Now he’ll have his first real opportunity, and may get to (occasionally) see his old coaches out on the recruiting trail.

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