RAPID CITY, S.D. (July 10, 2013) -- 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 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 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.