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Rich Ressa became the San Joaquin Delta College Men’s Basketball Head Coach in the spring of 2008. In his first year at the helm, he led the Mustangs to the Final Four of the CCCAA State Championships. Making Delta College the only Big 8 team to make two Final Four appearances in the last decade (2005, 2009).
Rich has played an integral part in building the Delta College Men’s Basketball program’s tradition of excellence. As a head coach, he has two Final Eight appearances (2009, 2013) and one Final Four (2009). But his contribution started long before that while he worked as the Associate Head Coach for previous Delta College Head Coach, Brian Katz. He worked under the 2009 California Community College Coaches Hall of Famer for 11 seasons, until Katz accepted the Head Coach position at Sacramento State University. During that span, he helped the Mustangs win four conference championships as well as reach three Final Eight (2000, 2005, 2007) and a Final Four (2005).
Ressa also organized and coordinated several basketball clinics that brought to the area some very notable head coaches such as the late Rick Majerus (Utah/St. Louis), Mike Dunlap (NBA Bobcats/Metro State), Dick Bennett (Wisconsin/Washington State), Lorenzo Romar (Pepperdine/Washington) and Mike Gillespie (Texas A&M/Kentucky).
Prior to San Joaquin Delta College, Ressa was the head coach at Franklin High School in Stockton from 1993-1997.
Coach Ressa has deep roots in the community since moving to Stockton when he accepted a full scholarship in 1989 to play Division I Basketball at the University of the Pacific for legendary Coach Bob Thomason. During his time at UOP, he had the opportunity to compete with many players in his conference that went on to have successful NBA careers such as Larry Johnson (UNLV/Hornets/NY Nicks), Cedric Ceballos (Fullerton/Phoenix Suns/LA Lakers) and Bryon Russell (Long Beach State/Utah Jazz). Both years Ressa played several times against the famous UNLV Rebels teams let by Jerry Tarkanian who were ranked #1 in the Nation for two years and also went on to win the 1990 NCAA National Championship. In his senior year at Pacific, his team finished third in conference had the schools best record in 13 years.
Ressa graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Sciences. After graduating, he was part the Athletic-Academic Liaison Council at the University of the Pacific. He then went on to get his teaching credentials and started teaching at several schools in the Stockton area until he became the head coach at Delta College in 2008.
Because of his background in education, Coach Ressa strives to create an atmosphere that prepares student-athletes for the four year college level.
His coaching and teaching philosophy is designed to develop collaboration, integrity and discipline within the team, as well as each individual.
The concept is to help further the success and productivity of the student-athlete as he is preparing for the next level of his career on and off the court.
Coach Ressa is himself a successful product of the junior college system. He played at West Valley College under California Community College Coaches Hall of Famer Bob Burton who went on to lead Cal State Fullerton to a Big West Championship and an NCAA appearance. At West Valley Ressa was part of the team that made the school’s first Final Eight appearance in 1988. As a sophomore, he led the team with 20 points and 7 rebounds per game which earned him a place on the 1989 California JUCA All-State Team. Prior to playing at West Valley, Rich attended Westmont High School in the Bay area where his senior year team won the section title for the time in the school’s history. He was named Section Player of the Year and earned 2nd Team All-State.
Rich Ressa resides in Stockton with his Wife Beatriz and his 2 year old son Garrett.
The 2012-13 season marked Dominique Bukasa’s first year as an Assistant Coach at San Joaquin Delta College. He joined Coach Ressa’s staff after spending the 2011-12 season as the Head Coach at Lassen College. Prior to Lassen College he was an NCAA Division I Assistant Coach at Sacramento State University from 2008-2011 for former Delta College and California Community College Coaches Hall of Famer Brian Katz. His duties with the Hornets included recruiting, scouting, player development, academic mentoring and game scheduling.
Bukasa, who has over 10 years of coaching experience, worked as an Assistant Coach for Ed Madec from 2005-2008 at College of the Siskiyous and Fresno City College. At College of the Siskiyous, he helped coach the Eagles to a 27-5 record and a #1 Ranking in the State for nine consecutive weeks during the 2005-06 season. That marked the first time in school history that the College of Siskiyous had received the top ranking in the State. The next two years at Fresno City College, he was part of the coaching staff that won the 2007 California Community College State Championship, back-to-back Central Valley Conference league titles and State Final Eight appearances with a 62-16 combined record.
After playing three years at Sonoma State University (1997-00) where he was part of a national ranked team that set the school record for victories in 1998-99, Bukasa had a successful career overseas. He played four years of professional basketball in Belgium and France.
Since 2001, he has been involved with work renowned trainer Jeremy Russotti’s 1% Club, a summer and off season program that trains elite high school, collegiate and professional basketball players. Many of the players he helped train, went on to sign Division I scholarships and professional contracts, including Angelo Tsagarkis (Oregon State/Pro in France) and Josh Akognan (Washington State/Cal State Fullerton/Dallas Mavericks).
Bukasa graduated from Sonoma State University in 1999 with a degree in history and a minor in political science. In July 2008, he earned his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University.
Eddie Hernandez joined the San Joaquin Delta College Basketball staff in 2013. Coach Hernandez is currently in his 22nd season of coaching basketball. For the past 18 years he has been a local high school coach. He played for Coach Ressa at Franklin High School and joined his coaching staff after graduation in 1994. Next he joined the coaching staff at Bear Creek High School and for the past 14 years he has helped transform their basketball program. During his nine years as the head coach, his teams made playoffs three times, including the first playoff win in school history. He coach three league MVP’s, one All-Area Stockton Record Player of the Year, and five Stockton Record 1st Team All-Area Players. Coach Hernandez is the winningest coach in Bear Creek basketball history and was named Coach of the Year by the Stockton Record in 2010. He has coached many players that have continued their careers at Delta College including Jerrell Green, Dwayne Lee and AJ Khalon.
Eddie attended Delta College and received his B.A. in Physical Education in 2000 from CSU Stanislaus. In 2009 he received his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University. He has been a teacher for 14 years and is currently an elementary Physical Education teacher in Lodi Unified as well as an adjunct professor at Delta College. Coach Hernandez and his wife Isela have been married for 18 years. They reside in Stockton with their four children, Sabrena (21), who is currently a Delta College student, Alex (11), Lina (8) and Lily (6).
Thomas began coaching at San Joaquin Delta College Basketball in 2014. Having played during the 1996-98 seasons for Delta College and California Community College Coaches Hall of Famer Brian Katz. This Marked his first year as an Assistant Coach at San Joaquin Delta College. He joined Coach Ressa’s staff after spending the last six years playing and also coaching professionally in China.
After playing two years at Delta (1996-98) where he was part of a conference championship team in 1997, he continued his playing career at Washington State University where he set numerous school records. Despite having a setback his senior year with a major knee injury, he went on to have a successful playing career overseas.
Thomas graduated from Washington State University in 2001 with a degree in social sciences. In January 2015, he will start earning his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University.
Jan-Michael Thomas resides in Stockton with his wife Giana.
Tony Espinoza's first season as an assistant coach with the men’s basketball program was in 2015. Tony has spent the past 20 years involved in high school athletics at Sierra High School in Manteca, CA and Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Stockton, CA. While at Sierra High School Tony spent four years with the boys basketball program as a lower level coach. During his time at A.A. Stagg High School, Tony spent 13 seasons with the boys basketball program. Nine of those seasons were spent as the varsity coach. During that time, Tony coached five first team all-league players, three all area players and led A.A. Stagg High School to its first league championship in 14 years. Tony was selected as the Stockton Record Coach of the Year in 2009.
In addition to coaching basketball at A.A. Stagg High School, Tony has spent the last 15 years as a teacher in the Health / P.E. Department and the last 11 years as the schools athletic director. Tony attended CSU Stanislaus and earned his B.A. in Physical Education in 2001. After earning his B.A., Tony also completed his teaching credential and administrative credential at CSU Stanislaus. In 2010, he received his M.A. in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University. Tony currently resides in Stockton, CA with his wife and two children.
Justin Graham, Assistant Coach
Justin is in his first year on the San Joaquin Delta College Basketball Staff. Justin attended San Jose StateUniversity and received his B.A. in Communications in 2010. In 2013 he earned his M.A. in Kinesiology from San Jose State.
Prior to joining the program he played basketball professionally for 4 years in Hungary and Slovakia. Justin also spent some time coaching at Ripon High School, helping the team earn its first win in the California State Tournament in school history.
Along with being an assistant, Coach Graham is an adjunct professor at San Joaquin Delta College. He currently resides in his hometown of Ripon.
Julio Perez joined the Delta College coaching staff when Rich Ressa took over the program in 2008. Perez has been an instrumental component to the Mustangs success as his primary role being player skill development. Julio’s strengths are his ability to teach and build great relationships with the players. His calm and poise approach to coaching has made him a very respected, well liked coach amongst the Delta College players. Perez is known as one of the best skill development coaches in the area as he has worked with numerous players who have moved on to the Division I and Division II levels.
Prior to coaching at Delta College Julio spent the previous 8 years coaching at the high school level as an assistant JV coach, frosh coach, varsity assistant and head varsity coach.
As a player Perez was a standout at Franklin High School in Stockton, California. Julio was 4 year varsity player who ended his career as one of the all-time leading scorers in school history scoring over 1300 points. He moved on to the college level playing 2 years at Alameda Junior College and one year at Holy Names College in Oakland, California.
Coach Perez earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanislaus State University (2000) and later completed his PPS credential in School Counseling. He is currently a School Counselor at Edison High School where he has worked for the past 6 years.
Julio and his wife Dana have been married for 5 years. They reside in Stockton with their 2 children Ava (5) and Andrew (3). In his spare time Coach Perez enjoys coaching Ava’s youth basketball teams and spending time with his son Andrew.
San Joaquin Delta College