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PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College men’s basketball program is not a secret.
Since head coach Lance Von Vogt stepped down to take the head job at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., the college has been flooded with enthusiastic interest from across the nation in becoming Coach V’s successor, Peninsula athletic director Rick Ross said.
“We have more than 25 applications in, and there are some very high-caliber people in the group,” Ross said.
One of a kind
“We’re not going to be able to replace Lance. He was an outstanding coach and a very positive spirit in our community, but I’m confident we’re going to follow him with another high-quality, high-character basketball coach.”
The field of applicants includes coaches with NCAA Division I and II head coaching experience, community college head coaches, one high school head coach, as well as assistant coaches from all levels desiring to move up.
While most of the field is from the Northwest, it includes applicants from Maryland, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, Montana and California, and one from Quebec.
“Lance’s success and his connections all over the West Coast helped put Peninsula College on the map,” Ross said.
“The word is out that this is a pretty special place.
“With our soccer teams nationally ranked, our men’s basketball team regionally ranked and our women’s team on the rise, we have become a destination college for soccer and basketball.
“Combine that with the support we get here from our administration, our campus community and from the North Olympic Peninsula community at large, and I’m not at all surprised by the quality of coaches this position is attracting.”
With preference given to applications received by Wednesday, Vice President of Student Services Jack Huls will chair a hiring committee that will review those materials and meet Monday to narrow the field for interviews.
There are five Pirate returners and a host of recruits who are anxiously waiting.
“We have a very talented team assembled and ready to meet our new coach,” Ross said.
“I have reached out to our returners and recruits and I’m now more certain than ever that they will be in good hands, should they all decide to stay.”
Peninsula College expects to announce its next basketball coach by the end of the month, Ross said.