Rob Sacre is seeing the world of college athletics from a different viewpoint.
The former Gonzaga standout turned the page on his playing career over the summer. Sacre now assists with fundraising in the athletic department at his alma mater while he completes work on his master’s degree in organizational leadership.
The energetic, 7-foot Sacre was hard to miss on the court during his playing days. Same goes for when he walks around the McCarthey Athletic Center on game days in a suit and tie greeting fans.
“It’s really interesting to see the other side,” Sacre said. “You definitely get to see how many people are involved in making this thing run. I’m learning all these new things. Everyone has been so awesome to work with. It’s been outstanding to be part of it and see the other side of it.”
Many fans who watched Sacre at Gonzaga from 2008-12 are the same ones he chats with in his new role.
“It’s cool to see how much of an impact a lot of people have made on this program, and vice versa,” Sacre said. “The love and passion for the Zags is incredible.”
Sacre played four seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and three in Japan. He made the B League all-star game after averaging 19.4 points and 9.2 rebounds last season for the Tokyo-based Sunrockers. The Japanese team wanted him to return this season, but Sacre opted to settle down in Spokane with wife Vinessa and their three children.
Sacre wasn’t sure about his next move, but he knew he wanted to finish his master’s. He earned his undergraduate degree as a player and began working on his master’s during his fifth year at Gonzaga. He redshirted after breaking his foot early in his sophomore season.
“No,” responded Sacre, when asked if he was a good student the first time around. “Now I’m a great student. School was a challenge, but those challenges taught me how to fight through adversity. All I can control is what I have now. Obviously, I have aspirations to do other things, but I have to get my master’s.”
Oldest son Quinton plays basketball and football. Sacre works with his son but doesn’t coach, preferring to watch games from the stands and gain another perspective on sports.
“I’m just dad,” said Sacre, who talks Gonzaga basketball and a variety of other topics with longtime friend Jack Ferris on the “Bleav in the Zags” podcast. “He has a great coach. I love his coaches. I’m just up there like, ‘Go get the rebound.’ He’s more into football right now.”
Sacre keeps close watch on the sixth-ranked Zags, who visit No. 15 Arizona on Saturday before No. 17 North Carolina visits on Wednesday.
“They’re very talented,” said Sacre, before taking on the tone of a coach. “Arizona coming up, let’s focus on that. I know everyone is excited about North Carolina, but Arizona is a really good team. Take it one day at a time.”
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