A familiar name in Iowa basketball circles occupies the office of head men’s basketball coach at Southwestern Community College.
Todd Lorensen, 29-year-old son of longtime Prairie City-Monroe boys basketball coach Fred Lorensen, has been announced as the new head coach for the SWCC Spartans. He succeeds Mike Holmes, who resigned to take over the men’s program at University of Maine at Cresque Isle.
While Holmes left SWCC to take over a Division III program, Lorensen is coming to the Spartans after one year as head coach at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant.
“I’m extremely excited to join the SWCC and Creston communities,” Lorensen said. “The ICCAC is one of the premier leagues across the country and I look forward to competing against top-level competition every year. I believe SWCC has a great future and I’m eager to get started.”
Iowa Wesleyan is in the midst of a transition from NAIA to provisional status as an NCAA Division III college.
“In that process they are eliminating athletic scholarships, and they will not be eligible for postseason play for two more years during that transition,” Lorensen explained.
The former Grand View Viking player is excited about taking the helm at Southwestern, where he will also serve as residence hall coordinator at Spartan Hall. He said the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference ranks among the top junior college leagues in the nation.
“This was too good of an opportunity to pass up in terms of furthering my career and developing the outreach network you get in this league,” Lorensen said Thursday.
He is immediately recruiting to add to an existing roster of “about 10” of the possible returning players who have indicated they will stay in the program in 2014-15.
Lorensen has a master’s degree in business administration from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb., and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grand View University in Des Moines.
He was head coach at Iowa Wesleyan College one year after serving as assistant men’s basketball coach at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., for two years. Prior to that he was assistant coach at University of Nebraska-Omaha for three years.
“I am very excited about having coach Lorensen in our athletics department,” said Bill Krejci, SWCC athletic director. “He brings seven years of college coaching experience to our basketball program.”
After playing for his father at PCM, Lorensen played one year at Quincy University in Quincy, Ill., and three years at Grand View, where he was team captain while scoring more than 1,000 points. He was named honorable mention and academic all-conference for three years.
Lorensen said he looks forward to making the transition from a four-year college to a two-year institution.
“Instead of having a kid you can groom and have influence on over a four-year span, in a two-year setting the top priority has to be to get that kid an AA degree,” Lorensen said. “Get them eligible for Division I or II, maybe a kid who was overlooked in high school or had an injury. They’re looking for that opportunity for exposure.”
Lorensen teaches a motion-based offense that creates options for players to utilize during game situations.
“You teach them how to play and then give them some freedom,” Lorensen said. “You’ll see a little secondary break at times.
“Defensively, you’re going to see us play a very hard-nosed man-to-man defense, a little pack-style like you see from Tony Bennett at Virginia,” Lorensen said. “Make them shoot contested jumpers.”
Lorensen is busy moving to his new residence and building his team, plus hiring an assistant coach.
“Working at a frantic pace right now,” he said. “I think we’ll get some pretty good payers visiting campus in the next week or so.”
Lorensen said past contacts in the Omaha and Kansas City areas will be utilized heavily in recruiting, as well as any players within a two-hour trip to campus who are worthy of helping the program.