Aaron Aanonsen named new Lakeland head mens basketball coach
Athletics - posted on 5/22/2008
Aaron Aanonsen, Lakeland College's top assistant for the past two seasons, has been promoted to head men's basketball coach.
The central Wisconsin native has served in several critical roles in his short tenure with the Muskies, including recruiting coordinator, academic coordinator, director of the Muskies' summer basketball camp and manager of the program's budget.
The job change is a dream come true for Aanonsen and his wife, Brye, an associate director with Lakeland's admissions staff.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead my own program, especially here at Lakeland," Aanonsen said. "We have loved it here, and we're thrilled that we get a chance to call it home for the foreseeable future. I'm looking forward to bringing some stability to the Muskies.
"I want to thank our president, Dr. Gould, our athletic director, Jane Bouche, and everyone on the search committee. Their support means a lot, and will be important in our success."
He takes the reins of a program that finished 17-11 this past season, and finished on a high note by winning the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament. The improbable tournament run was highlighted by wins over the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds, all in overtime games on the road.
"Aaron is absolutely the right fit at the right time for our program," said Lakeland athletic director Jane Bouche. "He's done a great job in a lot of different roles in his first two years with us, and we're looking forward to him having an impact at Lakeland for some time to come."
Aanonsen has also served as Lakeland's head men's golf coach and as a fitness studies instructor. His other duties have yet to be determined.
The Muskies will return a solid core of players from last season's team, along with a talented recruiting class.
"Our returning guys got a taste of what it takes to win down the stretch this past season," Aanonsen said. "We're going to build on that, and I'm looking forward to seeing how a great group of newcomers will mix with our returnees."
Prior to arriving at Lakeland, Aanonsen was the second assistant at Minnesota State University Moorhead (NCAA Division II) where he worked with head coach Stu Engen.
Aanonsen was in charge of high school recruiting throughout the Midwest, NCAA compliance, team travel, overall activity budget, academic coordinator, film breakdown and the development of post players. The Dragons finished 16-12 during his tenure, and he helped coach three all-conference players.
Before Aanonsen began his coaching career, he played basketball at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and was elected team captain as a senior in 2004-05.
He graduated with highest honors with a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science - sport management. He also served as an athletic department intern at Viterbo University, and he created and coached the Central Wisconsin Amateur Athletic Union Club in Stevens Point.
He was a four-year letterman in basketball at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School where he played for his father, head coach Jerry Aanonsen. He was a three-time all-conference selection and served as captain for two years. He was named a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division II and Channel 7 all-star as a senior, and graduated with highest honors.
He received his master's degree in educational leadership-activities management from MSU Moorhead in 2007.
The Aanonsens, who live in Sheboygan, are the parents of one daughter, Ambryn.
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