South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is pleased to announce
Spearfish native Ryan Larsen as the new head coach of the Lady
Hardrocker women's basketball program. Larsen becomes the third head
coach of the team in the program's 37-year history.
"The School of Mines is very happy to welcome Ryan to campus and we
look forward to a great season cheering the Lady Hardrockers," said SD
Mines President Heather Wilson.
Larsen becomes a Hardrocker after serving five years in Vermillion,
S.D., as the assistant women's basketball coach at the University of
South Dakota where he was the recruiting coordinator, scouting director,
position coach for guards and posts, assisted the head coach with
scheduling games and coordinated several off-season camps for the
program. Larsen also aided the Coyotes in the institution's transfer
from NCAA Div. II to Div. I status.
"I couldn't be happier to have Ryan Larsen become the new Lady
Hardrocker basketball coach. His ties to the community, the state and
the region are real bonuses as I view them. He can hit the ground
running and not miss a beat," said Hardrocker Athletics Director Dick
Kaiser. "Coach Larsen knows several of the newly recruited players as
well as several of the current players on the team through his
recruiting history. This type of knowledge and previous acquaintances
should make for a much easier transitional period."
Prior to arriving at USD, Larsen was a member of the Augustana
College men's basketball staff from 2002-07. Along with his coaching
duties, Larsen was also the recruiting coordinator for three seasons.
During that time he recruited three high school student-athletes who
earned player of the year honors from their respective states. From
1999-02 Larsen was at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Larsen
graduated from MSU Moorhead, earning his bachelor's degree in 2002. He
obtained his master's degree from Augustana in 2004.
"I have a long history as an athletics director of hiring 'first
time' head coaches. They tend to bring a great energy, exuberance,
knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile to their positions,"
Kaiser said. "Coach Larsen definitely fits those characteristics but
more importantly is a good fit for the university. I am excited to see
him put his footprint on the Lady Hardrocker basketball program as we
move into the next phase of being a NCAA Div. II member.
Larsen was chosen from a talented pool of qualified candidates. He
made the short list and was brought to campus last week to meet with
South Dakota School of Mines faculty and administration, Hardrocker
staff and student-athletes and a number of other interested parties. A
live press conference was also conducted to allow the local media and
public a chance to visit and have questions answered.
"The finalists for the women's basketball position had quality
interviews and represented themselves well," Kaiser said. "Ryan Larsen's
multi-level experience at both Div. I and Div. II institutions, as
well as his vast recruiting experience in the region, were a real plus
in the final analysis.
Larsen will step in and take over the program from Barb Felderman
who was the head coach of the Lady Hardrockers for the last 32 seasons.
The new era of Lady Hardrocker women's basketball begins with
exhibition games at the beginning of November.
Paula has a very impressive
basketball background, as a standout guard at South Dakota State (Brookings,
S.D.) from 2006-2010. She was the SDSU team captain from 2008-2010 and helped
the Lady Jacks make trips to the WNIT and NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournaments.
“I am extremely excited to have
Ketty join the Lady Hardrocker basketball program,” Larsen said. “Ketty
will bring a wealth of knowledge to the team and to me from her playing
Paula, isn’t new to the South Dakota
Mines women’s basketball program as she served as a volunteer coach during the
2011-12 season under former Lady Hardrocker head coach Barb Felderman.
personality, competitive nature and values will enrich all aspects of Lady
Hardrocker basketball,” Larsen added.
arriving at South Dakota Mines, Paula was a physical education and health
teacher at Southwest Middle School in Rapid City for the past three years as
well as the freshmen and varsity assistant girls basketball coach at Rapid City
was a three-sport athlete for SDSU. She was a standout player for the SDSU
women’s volleyball team and threw the discus and javelin on the SDSU women’s
track and field team.