College basketball: PC men’s coach Freeman takes Oregon job

Mitch Freeman, who led Peninsula’s men’s basketball program for the past five years — and a second-place finish at the 2018 NWAC tournament in March, is headed south.

Freeman agreed to a head coach position at Corban University, a private NAIA Division II Christian college of about 1,200 students in Salem, Ore.

Peninsula assistant coach Donald Rollman has accepted the position as interim head coach for the Pirates for the 2018-2019 season.

Freeman compiled an 88-55 record at PC, reaching the NWAC postseason in each of the past four years and taking the North Region title in 2015-16.

“Peninsula College has allowed me to grow and develop as a head coach, and I am forever grateful,” Freeman said.

“The Olympic Peninsula is a very special place, and we can’t thank this Port Angeles/Sequim community enough for loving and supporting us for the past five years. Our family has developed lifelong friends who we love and wish the best for.

“Once a Pirate, always a Pirate.”

Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life, said Freeman was a “model” head coach.

“We’re sad to see Mitch go,” Ross said, “but we also support our coaches with their careers and I know he’ll be successful as a head coach at the four-year level. Corban is a great fit for Mitch and his family. The Warriors will definitely benefit from all he brings to the table.”

Rollman was on the coaching staff at Olympic College in Bremerton from 2013-2016 before joining Freeman’s staff in the fall of 2016 to work alongside Port Angeles native Brian Shirley, Peninsula’s other assistant.

“Our normal process is to conduct an immediate national search for a new head coach and Athletic Development Coordinator, but we felt it was in the best interest of our players, our recruits and the program to give Donald an opportunity,” Ross said.

The Pirates had two consecutive runner-up finishes in the North Region and this year, the third-best finish in Pirate basketball history.

Rollman, a former Bremerton High School three-sport athlete, has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Central Washington University. In addition to coaching, he will serve as Athletic Development Coordinator, overseeing athletic scholarship fund raising efforts.

“I am very excited to have the chance to lead this program,” Rollman said. “The opportunity to lead, coach, and help these young men succeed is one that I am very grateful for and to be able to do it at a place like Peninsula College and Port Angeles is special.”

Freeman said he is excited about his new opportunity.

“I want to thank Dr. Robins, Vice President Jack Huls, Athletic Director Rick Ross, and the entire Peninsula College community for supporting my family and I over the past five years,” Freeman said. “To all the players who have put on a PC Jersey, thank you for making Peninsula College a high caliber program that has competed at the top of the conference year in and year out. Lastly, to all the community businesses and families who helped me create additional resources for our student athletes, you are amazing.”

Corban University athletic director Sue Roth shared the news on June 6 in a press release.

“We had an amazing pool of candidates and Mitch rose to the top,” Roth said. “Besides his extensive experience as a successful coach in quality programs in Washington and California, Mitch brings a heartfelt desire to have his basketball program reflect the Lord Jesus Christ and to spur on the culture that supports the mission of Corban.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Mitch join our athletic department and the whole community of Corban University.”