The announcement of the hiring of Adjalma Vanderlei Becheli, Jr., came today from USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson and Athletics Director Dave Paur.
Becheli, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, came to Price in 2008. His professional career in Brazil spanned 13 years that included вЂњCoach of the YearвЂќ recognition вЂ“ the youngest in Brazilian basketball history to be so honored.
“Coach Vando,” as he is known in the community, will become the first internationally born head coach in USU Eastern history. He has been the schoolвЂ™s assistant women’s basketball coach for the past two years. Previously, Becheli was a USU Eastern assistant menвЂ™s coach under Chris Craig, including the 2009-2010 season in which the Golden Eagles placed third in the NJCAA national tournament.
“I know Coach Vando will do a great job,вЂќ Paur said. вЂњHe is an excellent recruiter and has been placing kids from Brazil all over the United States. I have had the privilege to work with him the past two seasons as my assistant. WeвЂ™re confident heвЂ™ll take us to the next level.вЂќ
Becheli has worked with, and coached former and current NBA players including Rafeal Araujo, Nene Hilario and Leandro Barbosa.
“I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity the school and administration has given me,” Becheli said.
The new head coach inherits a basketball program that finished 16-13 this past season and 4-11 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC).
“The teams are so good here,вЂќ he said. В вЂњIt is an extremely tough conference, one of the best in the country.вЂќ
He replaces interim head coach Brian Edelstein, who was appointed to that position following the untimely death of Coach Brad Barton three weeks prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.
вЂњWe appreciate Coach EdelsteinвЂ™s stepping up and helping us get through a very difficult period,вЂќ said Vice Chancellor Brad King. вЂњWe are excited to have Coach Vando selected as the new head men’s basketball coach. В He brings a wealth of coaching and recruiting experience to the program.вЂќ
Becheli В was selected from a field of 157 applications.
вЂњThe search committee had a difficult job,вЂќ King said. вЂњWe have great confidence that Coach Vando will bring stability and success to USU Eastern.”
Peterson said Becheli brings together all the necessary components of a great coach.
вЂњHe is competitive, committed to athletics and academics, and is involved in the community,вЂќ Peterson said. вЂњHe will create a program that we can be proud of.”
Becheli received a bachelorвЂ™s degree in physical education at Fefisa, Sao Paulo. He is married to the former Mariana Gornati.