Lorenzo Romar returning to Pepperdine for 2nd stint as coach

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, Arizona associate head coach Lorenzo Romar reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - Lorenzo Romar is returning to Pepperdine for a second stint as men's basketball coach.

Athletic director Steve Potts said Monday that Romar will be back in Malibu as soon as Arizona's season ends. Romar is currently in his first season as associate head coach at Arizona and the Wildcats are in the NCAA Tournament.

The 59-year-old coach previously guided the Waves from 1996-99, going 42-44 in his first head coaching job.

Romar says he preferred to stay on the West Coast and his comfort level with Potts and university President Andrew Benton "played a huge role" in his decision to return to the campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Romar left Malibu to become head coach at Saint Louis and then spent 15 years in the same job at Washington.