College basketball: PC picks Rollman to lead Pirate men

An interim head coach who hit the proverbial ground running to take Peninsula College’s men’s basketball team to the NWAC tourney in his first year, Donald Rollman is now officially the Pirates’ leader.

College officials in late March announced the hiring of Rollman, who served as interim head coach for 2018-2019.

Rollman will be the sixth head coach in the 22-year modern history of Pirate men’s basketball. He took over the Pirate program in the summer of 2018, overcoming some early season adversity to place third in the North Region and qualifying for the playoffs with a 7-7 league record and 10-19 overall mark.

It’s only the second time in Peninsula’s modern history that a coach took the PC men to the playoffs in his first year (Lance Von Vogt, 2010-2011).

Rollman served as interim following the June resignation of Mitch Freeman, who left to take the head coaching job at Corban University.

Rick Ross, associate dean for athletics and student life at Peninsula College, said Peninsula College typically opens full-time positions and the process included a national search that began in February and concluded in March.

“We had 94 applicants from all over the world, we narrowed the field to five, any one of whom would have been outstanding as a college head coach, and Donald rose to the occasion,” Ross said.

“His body of work in two years as an assistant here and one year as a head coach, the connections he made in our community and here on campus, his ability to recruit, his fundraising success, and most importantly, the relationships he built with his players set the bar very high,” Ross said. “In the end, we felt he was the best fit to take our program forward.”

Rollman, who has a master’s degree in athletic administration and coaching, began his new contract as athletic development coordinator and head men’s basketball coach on April 1.

“I’m extremely excited to continue leading this basketball program and really start to build off of the foundation that we laid this season,” said Rollman.

“The Olympic Peninsula is a special place, full of great people who have proven that fundraising for Peninsula College athletics is unlike anywhere else. The number of people who have given and supported our programs to give Pirate student athletes the opportunity to be successful on and off the floor is inspiring. “

Ross said he is looking forward to watching Rollman build on what he started this year.

“I am very excited to see what Donald can do with our program,” Ross said. “He has a great core of players coming back and some pretty high-level recruits he’s working to sign. I’m confident he will not only build a program that can win the NWAC, but that he’ll do it with players who understand what discipline and pride look like, who understand the value of an education, and who appreciate the opportunities they’ll have here to give back to the community.

“We also have a core of community basketball fans who have a high basketball IQ. I think they’ll appreciate the brand of basketball Donald will put on the floor.”

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