New coach, new team
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
Following the departure of former Head Coach Alex Pribble, a new face for the Saint Martin’s Men’s Basketball team has stepped in. After losing Pribble to a new job as an associate head coach at Seattle University, new Head Coach Aaron Landon has taken over the role. Landon comes to Saint Martin’s after spending six seasons at his previous school, South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC.) He began his coaching career back in 2007, giving him nearly 12 years of coaching experience. He is the 16th head coach to assume the role for the men’s basketball team and will look to pick up right where Pribble left off.
According to Saint Martin’s Sports Information Director Austin Byrnes, Landon experienced success at SPSCC.
“[The team held] a top five ranking in the [Northwest Athletic Conference] NWAC Coaches Poll from 2015 to 2019 and won three West Region Championships. During this four year span SPSCC went 49-7 in the West Region and 93-26 overall in the NWAC. South Puget Sound reached the postseason each of the last four seasons, earning three number one seeds and two trips to the NWAC Quarterfinals. Landon was voted NWAC West Region Coach of the Year in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In addition to coaching, Landon was an academic advisor and taught classes at SPSCC. Landon departs SPSCC as the program’s all-time wins leader with 102 wins.”
This may seem like a boring list of statistics, but the resume speaks for itself. In just six seasons, Landon leaves SPSCC as the all-time wins leader with a triple digit number. Saints fans can find comfort in knowing this man is a winner and that is exactly what he breeds.
The future is yet unknown for the Saints following the departure of many seniors, such as starters Jordan Kitchen, Luke Chaves, EJ Boyce, and Rhett Baerlocher. What this means for the 2019-2020 Saints is that a bunch of fresh faces will appear on the floor. Having a new coach will always bring questions, especially after the success in the past two previous seasons. But fear not Saints fans, because Landon has the system under control.
Because the departure of former coach Pribble was so sudden, there was not enough time for Landon to truly recruit and settle in as the new coach. Yet, as any coach will tell you, working hard and becoming a team that works together is the true ingredient to success. If Landon can get this team to mesh well, we may again be looking at another run to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) playoffs. In an article by SMU Athletics, Athletic Director Bob Grisham praised Landon for bringing in a brand of basketball that Saints fans will enjoy.
“[Landon’s] teams are known for playing hard, working together, and being aggressive offensively. He is respected among his peers and more importantly, by the student athletes he has coached and mentored. We can’t wait to see him lead the future of Saints’ basketball.”
Instead of looking towards Landon as filling in the shoes of Pribble, allow him to make his own footprint in future seasons of Saint Martin’s basketball. The Saints travel to Seattle University on Oct. 22 for an exhibition game against former coach Alex Pribble.