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Cedar City • Southern Utah athletic director Ken Beazer has a hopeful vision for the school's basketball program — one that now includes 32-year-old Nick Robinson.

A former player at Stanford and assistant coach at LSU, Robinson was introduced as SUU's new head coach at a Thursday news conference.

"Nick is exactly what this program needs," Beazer said. "He comes to us with the highest of recommendations. He's a tireless worker and an outstanding recruiter. … [He] will build on the foundation that we have and lead the program into the Big Sky Conference."

SUU moves from the Summit League to the Big Sky next season. Robinson called getting his first head coaching job "a privilege and an honor. I'm extremely grateful and excited about the opportunity. … The combination of academics and athletics is something I think makes this a great fit."

SUU's location and move to the Big Sky will allow Robinson to recruit in the "West, Southwest, Northwest — even the Midwest."

The Thunderbirds finished 14-17 last season and lose seniors Ramell Taylor, Ray Jones Jr. and Matt Massey.

Still, Robinson already met with his new players, and "the guys in the locker room seemed excited" about the future.

Can Robinson win at SUU?

"Oh, yes," he said. "Definitely."

Beazer selected Robinson from a group of three finalists that also included Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College head coach Barret Peery and Pacific assistant Ron Verlin. Robinson just finished his first season as an assistant at LSU.

Previously, Robinson served one season as Tiger head coach Trent Johnson's executive assistant and one year as LSU's director of basketball operations.

"I want to congratulate Nick Robinson," Johnson told "I cannot express my excitement for him. This is a great fit for both Nick and Southern Utah. … I believe he is going to do extraordinary things as a head coach."

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