The junior leading scorer and team MVP announces he will return to UW for a fifth, senior season rather than enter the NBA draft. His return makes the re-loaded, 2013-14 Huskies that much more potent.
The former coach at UW, WSU, Pacific Lutheran and four-sport athlete at PLU dies at the age of 95. He was a giant in our state, as tall and enduring and recognizable as an evergreen.
The No. 6 seed Huskies will play the No. 3 seed Cougars on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. PT in the Marriott Center.
Washington will face Loyola-Maryland on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. (Pac-12 TV Net) in Alaska Airlines Arena.
Smith worked as a graduate assistant for Lorenzo Romar at Saint Louis in 1999-2001.
Terrence Ross Dunk
Paul Fortier, an All-Pac-10 forward with the Huskies in 1986, is in his eighth season at Washington, his first as the Director of Player Personnel and Player Development, after spending his first seven years as an assistant coach.
He will help mentor and teach current Huskies, plus have a vital role in maintaining a high standard of recruiting practices in his new role.
"Paul brings a lot of value to our program and he will excel in his role as the Director of Player Personnel and Player Development. He will be vital in ensuring that Washington remains one of the top programs in the nation."
He has helped the development of Husky forwards and centers over his tenure. Among his pupils are center Spencer Hawes, the 10th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings and Jon Brockman, a second round pick of the Kings in 2009. More recently he helped groom Quincy Pondexter, a 2010 first round pick of the Oklahoma Thunder (traded to the New Orleans Hornets) and Matthew Bryan-Amaning, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and the 2011 Pac-10 Most Improved Player.
Fortier has helped the Huskies to four NCAA appearances in his seven seasons, including Sweet 16 showings in 2006 and 2010. Washington has amassed three 25-plus win seasons with Fortier as an assistant.
He worked as a UW team manager during the 2003 season while completing his psychology degree.
Fortier served two years as an assistant at Cornell on Coach Steve Donahue's staff. The Big Red improved their record in both of Fortier's seasons.
Cornell posted an 11-16 record and a 6-8 Ivy League mark during 2004 in Fortier's first season. He tutored the post players, helping Cornell lead the league in rebounding and improve from a minus-3.0 to plus-2.3 margin.
In 2004-05, the Big Red registered a 13-14 overall record. Cornell was 8-6 in conference play, earning its highest Ivy finish in 17 years with a second-place effort. The Big Red swept Princeton for the first time in 20 years.
Fortier brings extensive playing and teaching experience to his new UW post.
After a tremendous collegiate career at UW, Fortier was selected by the Washington Bullets in the fifth round of the 1986 NBA Draft, the 104th pick overall. He was a standout in the European professional ranks, including stints in the top leagues of Italy, France, Spain and Greece. Fortier participated in the French All-Star Game in both 1997 and 1998 and was a member of the French Cup-winning Cholet squad in 1998 and 1999.
In 17 years playing in Europe, Fortier averaged better than 15 points per game 13 times. His top statistical season was 1995-96 with Le Mans (France) when he recorded averages of 21.5 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Just as important as his work on the court was his leadership off the court. Fortier served as a mentor to young American players overseas. He also worked at various camps, sharing his professional experiences.
Fortier lettered four years at Washington, from 1983-86. He started his final three seasons, helping the Huskies earn NCAA Tournament berths each time. Fortier served as team captain his final year during which he averaged 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. He still ranks 14th among all-time Huskies with 1,326 career points.
A product of St. Ignatius (Calif.) College Prep in San Francisco, Fortier averaged 20 points and 11.5 rebounds in 1982 during his senior season of high school. He garnered All-Northern California honors as well as honorable mention prep All-America acclaim.
Fortier and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters, Kassia and Marissa. Kassia will be a junior on the 2012-13 UW women's basketball team.