Danny Yoshikawa, former standout player and coach for West Valley, has returned to lead the men’s basketball program. Yoshikawa was most recently the top assistant coach at Saint Mary’s College, a perennial Top 25 Division 1 program. This past season, the Gaels knocked off nationally #1 ranked Gonzaga in the 2019 West Coast Conference Championship tournament, claiming the WCC title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
This will be the third stint in Saratoga for Yoshikawa. A standout point guard from Lincoln High School, the San Jose native played for Hall of Fame coach Bob Burton at WVC in the 1990’s. Yoshikawa led the Vikings to 29 wins and a state championship tournament appearance before transferring to UC Davis. There, he led the Aggies to two consecutive conference championships and two NCAA tournaments. He was named to the all-conference team multiple years and was awarded the conference Player of the Year as a senior. Yoshikawa won 100 games as a player over his four-year collegiate career.
Upon graduation, he joined Burton’s staff at West Valley as an assistant coach. He later inherited the storied program and, as the Vikings’ head coach, recorded a 144-47 record over five seasons (75%). He guided the Vikings to three consecutive Coast Conference championships and five straight California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) tournaments, making it to the NorCal finals twice as well as two California State Championship tournament appearances. In the state tournament, his teams advanced to the final four both times. His 2006 team advanced to the state championship game and Yoshikawa was named the CCCAA State Coach of the Year.
Yoshikawa spent the last thirteen years coaching in both the NCAA and professional ranks. As the defensive coordinator for UC Santa Barbara, he helped the Gauchos win a Big West championship. Later, as the Associate Head Coach, Yoshikawa played a pivotal role in resurrecting the University of San Francisco into a consecutive 20-win program. In his four years at Saint Mary’s, the Gaels won more games than at any other time in program history. Yoshikawa helped the Gaels to a WCC championship in 2016, an NCAA birth and the round of 32 in 2017, a 30-win campaign in 2018 - the most in the storied program’s history - and the shocking win over #1 Gonzaga for the WCC championship this past season. In those four short years, Yoshikawa helped develop nine players that are currently playing professionally. For his career, Yoshikawa has coached over 40 players that went on to play at the pro level. He also spent two seasons as a head coach in the NBL (now B. League), a professional basketball league in Japan with former NCAA greats and NBA players sprinkled across its rosters.
Yoshikawa graduated from UC Davis with Bachelor degrees in International Relations and Japanese. He earned his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University. He and his wife Alittza live in the South Bay with son Calvin and daughter Abigail.