Lorensen name new head men’s basketball coach


Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

Twenty-two years of something constant might make you think things might never change. But, when they finally do, it’s even more surprising than you would have ever thought. 

When Brian Van Haaften, the Buena Vista men’s basketball all-time winningest head coach, announced his departure on March 2 after 22 years in the job, every single follower of the squad began anticipating the hiring of a new coach. 

Meet Todd Lorensen, the new leader of the Buena Vista men’s basketball team.  

Lorsensen, who describes the change of scenery as both “exciting and chaotic,” is a native of Monroe, Iowa, just east of Des Moines.   

Growing up in a basketball family that included his father acting as his head coach, it’s no surprise Lorensen found himself with the same passions. 

After receiving his diploma from Grand View University in 2007, his first stint as a coach came at his alma mater. He then assisted for three years at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  

His first job as head coach lasted for four years at Southwestern Community College where he topped off an overall record of 113-25 with a national championship. Along the way, Lorensen earned the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association College Coach of the Year Award. 

Becoming accustomed to a new culture is tough, but Lorensen has been taking it in strides while meeting his team. 

“I had a group meeting initially, just to revisit with the team,” he said. “I feel great about where the program is. Obviously, there’s a great tradition and culture in BV men’s basketball, so my responsibility is going to be able to come in and be able to find a way to keep that culture and tradition and take us one step further.” 

Adjusting to the differences between community college and Division III basketball will be a major goal for Lorensen off the bat.  

“I don’t think the changes have been necessarily good or bad, just different,” he said. “In the junior college side of things, obviously it’s athletic dominated. You know, long, lanky athletic guys wanna get up and pressure you and get you out of control. Whereas from the games that I’ve seen and the players I’ve watched in the IIAC, it’s more of a fundamental and skill-based league.” 

On the offensive side of the ball, Lorensen already has his goals in mind. 

“It’s going to be a motion based offense that’s really concentrated on ‘everybody on the court needs to do multiple things.’ You need to be able to make plays for others. If you get a shot, you need to be able to knock that down,” he said. “As a coach I really try to value and applaud good basketball plays, more so than good basketball results.”  

Lorensen wants to keep that versatility as a key for the defense as well.  

“We’re going to be a 90% man-to-man defense,” says Lorensen. “As a program, to be able to have confidence to defend at half court will give us great chances to win games.” 

On the topic of practice, Lorensen is setting up his training sessions to be high tempo and important by utilizing each minute they have available. 

“We really try to find ways to get multiple things accomplished with the drills we do,” says Lorensen. 

Though the adjustment has been significant for all parties, the team and Coach Lorensen have already begun to bond. Junior Connor Winkelman, last year’s starting point guard, has good things to say about the change period.   

“The team has done a great job staying positive and open minded during the whole process,” Winkelman said. “Luckily for us, we got a great coach in Coach Lorensen. We’ve been able to see him a couple times after he was announced coach, and he’s done a great job communicating and getting to know us.We’re already bonding great and can’t wait to continue this process with him.”  

With IIAC Rivals Nebraska Wesleyan winning the National Division III tournament last season, the title race will be fiercer than ever. BVU’s 2018-2019 schedule has not been announced as yet.