Fazio To Lead SPU Men's Basketball For 2023-24 Season
Keffrey Fazio served as an assistant on Grant Leep's staff at Seattle Pacific for the last four seasons.
Keffrey Fazio served as an assistant on Grant Leep's staff at Seattle Pacific for the last four seasons.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023
by Seattle Pacific Athletic Communications

SEATTLE – Seattle Pacific University Athletics has announced the promotion of Keffrey Fazio to interim head coach of the SPU men’s basketball program.    

Fazio replaces former head coach Grant Leep, who is departing SPU to pursue a coaching opportunity at the NCAA Division I level. 

“Seattle Pacific is fortunate that an exceptional head coaching candidate was waiting in the wings for this opportunity to take oversight of the men’s basketball program,” Interim Athletics Director Dan Lepse said. “Keffrey has been an integral part of the team’s success in an assistant coaching capacity over the last four years. Based on that experience with the Falcons, along with his previous success as a head coach at the high school level, I’m confident that Keffrey will be successful in this new role.”

Fazio joined the SPU staff before the 2019-20 season. That proved to be one of the best seasons in program history. Fazio was part of a staff that led the team to a 22-7 overall record with an 18-2 mark that topped the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings. The Falcons did not get to prove its prowess in the postseason as the NCAA Division II West Regional was canceled one day before it was scheduled to begin due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When play resumed in the spring of 2021, the Falcons returned to the previous season’s form. They went 10-3 in the pandemic-condensed 2021 season. No conference schedule was contested and SPU's opportunity to participate in the NCAA Division II Tournament was nixed by a campus rule forbidding out-of-state travel due to COVID-19 concerns.  

Seattle Pacific is coming off a solid 17-11 season, featuring an 11-1 home record. The Falcons put together a seven-game winning streak during the middle of the year, highlighted by back-to-back victories over top 25 teams. The team earned a third-place regular season finish in the GNAC. Unfortunately, the year ended in the opening round of the conference tournament.   

“Keffrey was involved in the recruitment and development of every student-athlete on the current roster,” Lepse mentioned. “Throughout that process, he’s demonstrated an ability to connect with and nurture those Falcons, both on and off the court.”

The team was powered by a proficient offense that led the conference in field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage. It also ranked third in conference scoring offense. Nationally, the Falcons were sixth in field goal percentage, 11th in points per possession and 19th in three-point field goal percentage. 

Seattle Pacific had two players named to the All-GNAC Team. Along with first team honors, Shaw Anderson was named to the D2CCA All-West Region First Team and the NABC All-District First Team. The Falcons had one selection for the GNAC All-Academic Team as well.   

“I’d like to take this time to thank Coach Leep for the opportunity to join his staff four years ago,” Fazio said. “He allowed me to coach college basketball, and I will always be grateful for that. It is an honor and privilege to be named the next men’s basketball head men’s at SPU. This University and basketball program has a great tradition, and I hope to continue to lead the program in a manner that makes our university, athletics department, and community proud.”

Fazio joined the Falcons after a decade-long tenure at West Seattle High School. He served four years as an assistant coach at West Seattle under Donald Watts before assuming the head coaching role he held for six seasons. He transformed West Seattle into a contender in Seattle's competitive Metro League after taking over in 2013. He twice received the Metro Coach of the Year award, in 2017 and again in 2018.  

The Wildcats compiled a 92-64 record under Fazio's direction and placed third at the 2017 Washington State tournament, their best finish ever. West Seattle qualified for the district tournament six times and advanced to the state tournament again in 2019.  

A product of Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way, south of Seattle, where he played basketball. Fazio attended Green River Community College for two years before transferring to the University of Washington. He graduated from UW in 2013 with a degree in psychology.  

Fazio has been active in coaching for more than 20 years, including assistant coaching stints at Decatur High School in Federal Way and at Burien's Kennedy High School.   

Fazio's involvement is not restricted to the sidelines. He was the executive board secretary and the all-state games chairman for the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association while also serving as the Baden Scholarship advisor and the Seattle area coordinator for the WIBCA College Combine.  

“My vision for the program is to continue to strive for athletic success and academic excellence,” Fazio added. “We want to continue to build on both the recent and past success the program has experienced. That’s done by continuing to bring in quality student-athletes like Shaw Anderson, Maui Sze, and so many others that have worn SPU across their chest. It’s an exciting opportunity for me and the program, and I can’t wait to get started.”  

Fazio’s first official day as Interim Head Coach is May 22.  

Leep spent 14 years at Seattle Pacific. He served as the program’s head coach for the past seven seasons. Leep's career record is 114-69 through the 2022-23 campaign.  

“Grant Leep will be greatly missed after 14 eventful years at SPU, both as an assistant and the head coach,” Lepse added. “We wish him well in his future coaching endeavor.”