Not bad for one’s first year.
Not bad for any year.
Peninsula College first-year head coach Lance Von Vogt was named the 2011 NWAACC Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, as announced by the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges last week.
"First and foremost, (the award) means you have some good players,” Von Vogt said. “Second, it means you have a good support staff.”
Von Vogt coached the Pirates to a 22-7 overall record — including a 9-0 record in the Pirate gym — and a second-place finish in the North Region. Peninsula followed that up with four consecutive victories at the NWAACC tournament in March, including an 80-76 victory over Pierce College in the title game.
The Pirates claimed their first title since 1970.
“It’s a pretty special accomplishment to win the NWAACC championship, but it’s truly outstanding for a coach to pull that off in the first year,” said Peninsula College athletic director Rick Ross.
“We were excited to bring Lance on board last summer. We knew he could coach and we knew he could recruit, but I don’t think anyone expected him to build a championship program in three months.”
Von Vogt was the runner-up in the North Region coach of the year balloting, but he has won that honor before. He was named the NJCAA Region 17 Coach of the Year in 2005 as head coach at Oxford College.
The Peninsula coach said he wasn’t totally surprised by the award considering how well the team finished, but said he was honored.
“You don’t take anything like that for granted,” Von Vogt said. “I felt like our team and our staff had done a great job. It didn’t so much surprise me, (but it was a) terrific feeling to be recognized by your peers.”
Von Vogt will be honored at the NWAACC Hall of Fame dinner in Vancouver, Wash., on June 2.
The Pirates see three starters, a couple of reserves and another seven players who redshirted last season who are eligible to return, giving Peninsula a good shot at repeating as champions for the first time in school history.
“I do, I really do (think we can win it again),” Von Vogt said. “I feel as if we built a program, not just a championship team.”