FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — Former CSU assistant coach Niko Medved said it was a “no brainer” to accept the opportunity to return to Fort Collins to lead the Rams men’s basketball program after spending a year as Drake’s head coach.

“Some of the best personal and professional memories I have in life came here in Fort Collins and Colorado State,” Medved said on Friday in a news conference on campus.

niko medved1 No Brainer: Medved Jumped At Chance To Return To CSU Rams

Niko Medved (credit: CBS)

Medved replaces Larry Eustachy, who stepped down last month, ending a “climate assessment” of the program led by athletic director Joe Parker.

Eustachy, who was 122-79 in five-plus seasons at CSU, is on paid leave until June 30, at which time he’ll formally resign.

Medved was an assistant coach at CSU from 2007-13 before spending four years as head coach at Furman and then leading Drake last season to its first postseason berth in six years.

Medved told reporters his goal is to have a program where everyone involved, from players to coaches to staff, is excited to be a contributor. When asked about the specifics of what he brings to the table as a coach, he replied:

“Something that my teams are known for, we get a missed shot or a turnover? We work on transition offense every day. We really want to get out and attack and spread the floor. My teams get back on defense. We challenge teams, we make it difficult for them to score on us. I want teams to share the ball, who move the ball, who play unselfishly.”

Medved feels like the Mountain West Conference in which the Rams play is on the upswing, and he’s excited for the high level of competition.

“You want your league to be strong. You want to compete against the best, that’s what you work your whole life for, to do that. This is a highly competitive league with great coaches and great universities. It can only get better, in my opinion,” he said.

Parker said Medved was the top pick in part because of his history with the program.

“The fact that he participated on the coaching staff when we were in our last NCAA appearances was big for me, but even more than that is what he’s done since,” Parker said.

“And then the person that he is. The passion that he brings to his job. The mission that he serves as an educator. The idea that he wants to use basketball to transform the lives of young men.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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