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Long Beach State Dirtbags Hiring Alum T.J. Bruce as Head Coach

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Multiple sources have confirmed that Long Beach State is in the process of hiring former player and TCU Associate Head Coach T.J. Bruce as their next head coach.

Bruce has previous head coaching experience at the University of Nevada and played for the Dirtbags during the 2004 season. He also served as an assistant coach at Long Beach State for five seasons from 2007-11.

A native of nearby Torrance, Calif., Bruce played his high school ball at St. John Bosco. The shortstop went on to play two seasons at Cerritos College, before transferring to the Division I level, playing his junior year at Texas Tech before finishing his college career as a Dirtbag during the 2004 season. Long Beach State hosted a Super Regional at Blair Field that year, finishing just one win shy of the College World Series.

Bruce immediately went into coaching in 2005, serving as a graduate assistant coach on Mike Weathers’ staff at LBSU. He then returned to Cerritos College as an assistant coach for the 2006 season before coming back to the Beach as an assistant from 2007-10.

In 2011, Bruce made the move to UCLA, where he served as the top assistant for five seasons, winning a National Championship with the Bruins in 2013.

His first head coaching job came at Nevada, where he compiled a 171-168 record over seven seasons. He was a two-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, and led the Wolf Pack to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021.

For the past two seasons, Bruce has been the Associate Head Coach at TCU, working under head coach Kirk Saarloos.

Bruce will become the 11th head coach in program history, and the fifth since the start of the 2019 season. He’ll take over for interim head coach Bryan Peters, who led LBSU to a 25-29-1 record in 2024.

The university has declined comment at this stage of the process. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.