Each stop Ryan Looney has made as a head coach, national tournament success has followed. Now the Central Valley graduate will be tasked with doing the same at the Division I level.
Looney was hired as Idaho State’s next men’s basketball coach, the school announced Wednesday. He spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Point Loma, a Division II school in San Diego, and is coming off his deepest postseason run with the Sea Lions — a Division II national championship appearance.
The position will be his first at the Division I level.
“I am thankful to President Kevin Satterlee and Athletic Director Pauline Thiros for trusting me with such an important position at Idaho State University,” Looney said in a team release Wednesday. “I understand the impact our program can have on the campus. ISU will get my very best every day and it will be the expectation that our student-athletes do the same. My family and I are excited to get to Pocatello. We plan to not only fully engage ourselves on campus but in the community as well.”
Idaho State has had one winning season in the last seven years.
Looney’s first head coaching job was at NAIA Eastern Oregon, where he played college basketball before returning to spend five seasons as a coach. He amassed winning records in his final four seasons and made the NAIA round of 16 and quarterfinals.
He left to coach Seattle Pacific in 2009 and made the Division II NCAA tournament each of his seven years there before leaving for Point Loma in 2016.
Point Loma, which lost to Northwest Missouri State in the Division II national title game in March, had a roster was littered with former Washington prep standouts, most notably Lynden Christian grad Daulton Hommes, this year’s Division II national player of the year.
Perhaps that will remain a trend at Idaho State.