Shanan Rosenberg has been named men’s basketball coach at Linfield College, director of athletics Scott Carnahan announced Friday.
Rosenberg becomes the 17th coach in program history, replacing retired coach Larry Doty.
“I’ve always considered teaching and coaching at Linfield to be my dream job,” said Rosenberg, 41. “Linfield offers tremendous balance between pursuing excellence in the liberal arts and achievement in athletics. In basketball terms, there’s great potential to be successful and develop a program that can vie for championships year in and year out. All the people I’ve met from Linfield have been fantastic and nothing but first-class.”
Rosenberg was head men’s basketball coach the past 11 years at Foothill College, a two-year community college near Palo Alto in the south San Francisco Bay region. At Foothill, he compiled a 186-131 win-loss record. His 2012-13 team went 22-5, achieving the best regular-season finish in program history.
In 2002-03, he took over a troubled Foothill program that was staggered by player behavioral problems and rules violations. After a 6-22 record during his first season, Rosenberg guided the Owls to the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs, the first of eight state playoff appearances. The CCCAA comprises 82 institutions spanning 10 athletic conferences.
Under Rosenberg’s leadership, Foothill became a top-10 regionally ranked basketball program, a regular state tournament qualifier and a program that enjoyed a 99 percent graduation rate.
Prior to taking over at Foothill, Rosenberg spent three years as assistant head coach at Lewis & Clark College from 1998 until 2002, a period when the Pioneers won two Northwest Conference championships and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III playoff tournament.
In the mid-1990s, Rosenberg spent four seasons as lead assistant coach at Cañada College in Redwood City, helping the program compile a 104-20 record that included two Coast Conference championships.
Rosenberg was selected for the position from a pool of more than 100 applicants. He will oversee the Linfield varsity and junior varsity men’s basketball squads, as well as teach health and kinesiology courses in the Health and Human Performance department.
“I’m very pleased with the search committee’s recommendation to hire Shanan Rosenberg as Linfield’s next men’s basketball coach,” Carnahan said. “I believe Shanan is a great fit for Linfield. He has all the attributes we were looking for and has achieved great success in every coaching opportunity he has had.
“From a basketball standpoint, he’s proven he can develop players. He knows the Northwest Conference from his time at Lewis & Clark. And he’s a capable recruiter who will be able to open doors to high school and junior college kids from California.”
At Linfield he takes over a sleeping giant, inheriting a program with a history of 20 conference or district championships in men’s basketball, the most recent coming in 2000-01. Rosenberg’s task will be to restore luster to a program that is coming off a last-place finish in the NWC, winning just four games last winter.
“Linfield basketball has wonderful potential and a rich history,” he said. “I would not have accepted this position if I didn’t believe with every fiber of my body that this can be a highly successful program.”
“Shanan is accomplished in every facet we were looking for,” said Carnahan. “He’ll be a strong addition to our exercise science program and he has excellent depth in his coaching experiences. I’m confident he is going to be able to turn our basketball program around and return Linfield to a position of being nationally competitive.”
“As a teacher and coach, Shanan understands his role is to develop young men into contributing members of society,” said search committee member Mark Wickman, a graduated Wildcats All-American. “Whether he is talking about basketball or the game of life, he’s able to communicate concepts and ideas in ways that are practical and understandable.”
Wickman praised Rosenberg’s understanding of the appropriate balance point between academic and athletic pursuits.
“At Foothill, he had no scholarships to work with yet his team achieved a 3.5 grade point average. His focus was not simply on basketball but rather on helping student-athletes prepare for the next step in their lives, which for many of them, meant moving on to a four-year school,” said Wickman.
Rosenberg has been active professionally, serving on the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Executive Board for 10 years, including a two-year term as State President from 2009 until 2011.
He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from UC-Davis in 1994 and went on to earn a master’s degree at Chico State in 1999.
A native of central California, Rosenberg starred in basketball at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, leading the Lancers to a Central Coast Section championship in 1988. As a student-athlete and three-year letterman at UC-Davis, he earned all-North Coast Athletic Conference honors while leading the Aggies in rebounding his final two seasons.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to Scott Carnahan, Linfield President Thomas Hellie and each of the search committee members,” said Rosenberg. “I’m absolutely honored and thrilled to be offered this position.”
Rosenberg and his wife, Sarah, have three sons: twins Walt and Clyde, 6, and Gus, 2.
“Living in a city as nice as McMinnville and being involved the college culture at a school as great as Linfield is something my wife and I really desire for our family.”
Closeup photo courtesy of Tony Avelar/Palo Alto Daily News