Cameron Dollar finishes his eighth season as head coach at Seattle University. In just a short span of time, he has shown why many college basketball writers consider him one of the rising stars in the coaching industry.
Dollar led the Redhawks on a historic postseason run in 2014-15, first advancing to the finals of the Western Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament with victories over Chicago State and Missouri-Kansas City. The Redhawks were one win away from the program's 12th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time. After accepting a berth into the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), Dollar and his players notched Seattle U's first national postseason tournament victory since 1964 with a 62-45 victory over Pepperdine (WCC), followed by a 72-65 win over the Colorado Buffs (Pac-12) to reach the CBI semifinals. In the final 12 home games of the season, the Redhawks reeled off an 11-1 record. Dollar's team produced a stifling defense at KeyArena that held opponents to an average of 57 points all home-season long. On offense, the Redhawks outscored all opponents at home by a combined 125 points, with 116 made 3-pointers.
In 2013-14, Dollar's Redhawks posted a five-game improvement from the previous season and contended with eventual WAC Tournament champion New Mexico State right down to the final buzzer in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Thanks to a season sweep over Cal State Fullerton as well as victories over UC Davis, Cal State Northridge, and Norfolk State, Seattle U jumped out to an 8-3 record, led by Second Team All-WAC performer Isiah Umipig.
Though Dollar led the team through a tough first season in the WAC during the 2012-2013 season, several key returning players showed improvement under his coaching. Redshirt freshman Deshaun Sunderhaus became a consistent post defender, and redshirt junior Clarence Trent led the team in scoring. Along with the yearly battle against Washington, Dollar's former team, the Redhawks also competed against non-conference schools such as Stanford and Virginia.
Dollar took a squad of several newcomers through the 2011-12 season, competing with powerhouse programs such as Virginia and Washington. The team got rolling midway through the season, winning nine of its last 12 contests, including eight in a row at KeyArena. Thanks in part to Dollar's coaching, Aaron Broussard established himself as one of the best players in program history, finishing his career 13th on the school's all-time scoring list. Cervante Burrell improved significantly during his three seasons playing under Dollar, and Eric Wallace made an important contribution to the team's success after transferring in from DePaul for his senior season.
Seattle U picked up 11 victories during the 2010-11 season, including the team's second straight victory over Oregon State and a road victory at ACC school Virginia. The Redhawks also played a tight game at Pac-10 school Stanford and put up its best performance against Washington since starting the reclassification process in front of over 11,000 fans at KeyArena. With Dollar at the helm, Seattle U was invited to participate in the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, opening the season at the University of Maryland. The Redhawks were also chosen for the ESPN BracketBuster series of games, defeating Northern Illinois on the road.
Using an up-tempo style with aggressive defense, Dollar led Seattle U to a 17-14 record in 2009-10, making the Redhawks the first team to post a winning record playing a full Division I schedule in its first year as a Division I counter. The team started to gain national recognition after a 77-74 victory at Utah, and then made history later in the year with a 99-48 win at Oregon State, the worst home loss ever for the Beavers. Dollar and his squad also defended Elgin Baylor Court at KeyArena during its first year of existance, finishing with a 10-3 record at home, including exciting victories over Fresno State, Weber State, and UC Irvine. Seattle U won eight of its last nine games, posting last-second road wins at Portland State and at San Jose State in the process.
He served seven years as an asssistant coach at the University of Washington before coming to Seattle U. As the top assistant for Lorenzo Romar at Washington, he helped the Huskies win their first Pac-10 outright regular season championship since 1953 in the 2008-09 season. Washington advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament and to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
He played a major role in the spectacular 2005 and 2006 seasons that were among the finest in UW history. Dollar's contributions come both on the court, where he provides a wealth of coaching knowledge and experience, and on the recruiting trail. He helped recruit back-to-back classes that were ranked among the best in the nation.
In 2006, Dollar helped guide Washington to a 26-7 record. The Huskies made back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances for the first time ever. He was pivotal in the Huskies' run to their first Pac-10 Tournament championship in 2005 and first ever No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament. UW finished with a 29-6 record, tying the school record for wins in a season.
In 2004, the Huskies advanced to the championship game of the Pac-10 Tournament and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. UW swept all three meetings with highly ranked Arizona and capped the regular season with a win over No. 1 and undefeated Stanford.
Prior to his arrival at UW, Dollar served three years as an assistant coach on Romar's Saint Louis University staff. He helped the Billikens to a three-year record of 51-44 (.537), including a 2000 Conference USA Tournament championship that secured the league's automatic NCAA berth.
Dollar began his coaching career as an assistant on the staff of head coach Pat Douglass at UC Irvine in 1997.
He became the nation's youngest head coach in 1998 when, at age 22, he took the reins of the Southern California College program in Costa Mesa, Calif. The Vanguards, who returned just six players from the previous season, posted an 11-22 record in Dollar's only season, but recorded wins over NAIA Top 25 teams Westmont and Azusa Pacific.
After a three-month stay as a part-time assistant at the University of Georgia in 1999, Dollar left to join the Saint Louis coaching staff on a full-time basis.
As a player, Dollar lettered four seasons at UCLA before graduating in 1997. He has chosen to remain in Seattle, the site of the Bruins' 1995 NCAA Championship victory. UCLA defeated Arkansas 89-78 at the Kingdome.
A four-year letterman at UCLA from 1994-97, Dollar achieved national recognition in 1995 as a pivotal player in UCLA's NCAA championship season when he took over for injured starter Tyus Edney in the title game. In Dollar's final three collegiate seasons, the Bruins won the NCAA title and reached the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Dollar averaged 5.0 points and 3.7 assists per game during his four-year career.
He was recruited to UCLA by then-Bruins assistant Lorenzo Romar and was reunited with his coach in 1999 when Romar added Dollar to his staff at Saint Louis University.
Dollar is a native of Atlanta, where his father, Don, was the long-time coach at Clarkston High School. Cameron and his wife, Maureen, live in Seattle. They have three children: Jalen (born April 26, 2005), Giselle (born Feb. 12, 2007), and Jason (born Dec. 23, 2008).