Carlito Labarda Jr

Carlito Labarda Jr. will be the next Eastern Oregon University men's basketball coach, director of athletics Anji Weissenfluh announced Thursday afternoon.

Labarda becomes the 16th head coach in program history.

The EOU Mountaineers capped the season with a record of 24-9 and made it to the second round of last year's NAIA Division II Tournament.

"I am excited to announce the hiring of Carlito Labarda Jr. as our next head men's basketball coach," said Weissenfluh. "Carlito comes to us after a long and successful stint as an assistant coach under Dr. Carson Cunningham at Carroll College. Carlito has helped establish a tradition of excellence at Carroll and knows how to win and shares the core values that we see as important within our department. He brings an ability to recruit quality student-athletes that are able to excel both in the classroom and on the court. We are thrilled for Carlito to arrive at EOU so he can begin to immerse himself in the campus as well as in the community."

Labarda arrives at EOU after spending the last four seasons as the main assistant under Cunningham at Carroll. Since starting with Saints in 2013, Labarda has helped guide the program to a 79-45 record, and consecutive NAIA Division I quarterfinal appearances. The 2016-17 campaign was one of the most successful in Carroll history. The Saints ran through the Frontier Conference, capturing the regular-season and conference tournament titles, en route to earning the top seed at the NAIA Division I Tournament. Carroll eventually fell to the national runner-up Life University (Ga.), but its 29-5 mark was second only to the 2005-06 Saints that finished 30-4.

"I am very excited to join a special group of coaches at Eastern Oregon University, my visit to La Grande was an awesome experience," Labarda said. "From interacting with the community, to the student-athletes on campus, it's a place where I want to be and can't wait to get started. The amazing family culture established in the athletic department will make it a smooth transition for me as a coach, which I don't take for granted. I'm truly blessed to be a Mountaineer."

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Labarda began his coaching journey at Purdue University, where he was the team's manager and the student assistant coach from 1994-99. Under the tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach Gene Keady and assistant Bruce Weber -- the current coach at Kansas State -- the Boilermakers garnered two Big 10 trophies, multiple NCAA tournament trips and two Sweet 16 appearances. During this time, Labarda became good friends with Cunningham, who was a standout player and starter, after transferring to Purdue from Oregon State.

"I'm thrilled about Coach Labarda being named the next head basketball coach of the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers," said Cunningham. "Carlito is a lifelong friend, tireless worker, and passionate basketball coach. The players, the college and the community really embraced and enjoyed him. It's a little bittersweet, since Coach Labarda won't be with us at Carroll next year. But mainly it's just sweet to know that, after all his hard work and years of dedication to the game, Coach Labarda is getting a chance to become a head college basketball coach."

After Purdue, Labarda made multiple stops coaching at the high school level, beginning with Lakes High School in Tacoma, Washington, from 2001-03. He then moved down the coast to Long Beach, California, to become the head coach of Saint Anthony's High school for two years.

Following his two-year stint at Saint Anthonys, Labarda stayed in the Golden State and coached junior college ball at El Camino College (2007-09) in the city of Torrance, and Los Angeles Harbor (2010-12).

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