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Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Sunbirds add Thiesen to coaching staff

John Thiesen, the long-time Immanuel boys basketball coach, is coming out of retirement to coach the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds. Well, sort of.

Thiesen, who notched over 300 wins in 15 varsity seasons at IHS in Reedley, has joined the Sunbirds as a volunteer assistant coach.

The announcement was made by new FPU head coach Clark Sheehy.

"I am thrilled to have John join our staff," said Sheehy. "He has a tremendous reputation and great ties to the local area. Anytime you can get a person of his character and overall quality, well it is just a huge benefit to our program. I can't wait to get started."

Thiesen, who graduated from Fresno Pacific in 1971, sited business and family reasons for stepping down from the IHS position in March. He led the Eagles to 11 California State playoff appearances in his 15 seasons as varsity head coach.

"This came out of the blue," said Thiesen. "It was a complete surprise. It is a great situation. Clark has all the primary responsibilities, so I can help out where he wants me to. What could be better- I can still be involved in the game I love, in a collegiate setting and still have enough time for other interests. I think I have the best of both worlds."

The Sunbirds begin their 2005-06 season November 4 at the Westminster University Classic in Salt Lake City.


Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

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