Head Coach: Todd Lorensen
In just his third season leading Southwestern Community College, Lorensen completed the ultimate transformation, leading his team from lowest in the conference to top in the nation. Southwestern put together a historic season that had such feats as defeating perennial NJCAA Division I powerhouse Indian Hills and winning a second straight Iowa Community College Athletic Conference title. The season was culminated by winning the NJCAA Division II National Championship with a 36-1 record.
The successful season led to many post season accolades for Lorensen including District 8 NJCAA Coach of the Year, National NJCAA DII Coach of the Year, and Hoopdirt.com NJCAA Coach of the Year. In addition, Lorensen was selected as head coach of the NJCAA All-Star Game and asked to present at various Nike coaching clinics, among greats like coaches Bobby Knight and Bo Ryan.
During his three seasons at Southwestern, Lorensen owns an 84-17 overall record, 27-9 Iowa Community College Athletic Conference record, and all three teams have been ranked in the top 10 nationally. Each season has shown improvement with 23 wins in year one, followed by 25, and capped off with 36 wins during the championship season.
Lorensen has had head coaching stops at Iowa Wesleyan University, as well as assistant coaching positions at Truman State University, Nebraska-Omaha, and Grand View University.
Lorensen was named head men’s basketball coach at Southwestern in August 2014, after a one-year stint as head coach at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant. Lorensen was happy to take over at the helm of the Spartan basketball program.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” stated Lorensen when arriving on campus. “The Iowa Community College Athletic Conference [ICCAC] is one of the premier leagues in the nation. I am excited to compete against top level teams night in and night out.”
It didn’t take long for the Lorensen era to bring excitement with a 120-point outburst in the season opener. It was the first of nine consecutive wins to start the season, which helped propel the Spartans to the #11 ranking in the NJCAA Division II polls. It was the first of six consecutive weeks in the rankings, three of which were in the top 10.
Despite taking over less than a month before the start of school in 2014, Lorensen assembled a team that went 23-10 and reached the semi-finals of the ICCAC Regional Tournament. The Spartans accomplished many feats that hadn’t occurred in more than a decade, including a 20-win season, a .500 or better league record, winning a home regional tournament game, and spending six consecutive weeks in the national polls.
The 2015-16 Spartans built on the momentum of the previous year to accomplish even greater feats while going 25-6. Southwestern won its first ICCAC Conference Championship in men’s basketball since 1997 and tied the single-season wins record set by the 1999 team. Despite being left out of the preseason polls, the Spartans appeared in every regular season ranking including three consecutive weeks in the top five nationally.
In his three seasons, 16 players have been named as all-region performers (six first team selections, four second team selections, and six honorable mention selections), while three have earned NJCAA All-American honors. Jordan Johnson was named First Team All-American after the 2016-17 season, Brodric Thomas was named Second Team in 2016-17, and Terrance Smith was named Third Team in 2015-16. Additionally, Johnson and Smith were selected to play in the NJCAA All-Star game held in Las Vegas, NV following the 2016-17 season. Mataika Koyamainavure (2015) and Ahmad Newsome (2016) were awarded the college’s Paul Somers Male Athlete Award, which is given annually to the top Southwestern athlete as voted on by coaches and administration.
In addition to their work on the court, the Southwestern men take care of business in the classroom and volunteer throughout the community. Volunteer projects have included an Alzheimer’s walk, Special Olympics basketball camp, and an Autism 5K. In two years, a total of 25 members of the team have been named academic all-region.
During his one season at Iowa Wesleyan, Lorensen took over a program including just one returning player with college basketball experience. In the midst of a probationary period while transitioning from an NAIA affiliation to NCAA Division III, his team went 6-19, with only one senior in the rotation.
Prior to that, Lorensen spent two seasons at NCAA Division II Truman State University, located in Kirksville, MO. There, he teamed up with Head Coach Matt Woodley to turn around a program with just 24 wins during the previous four seasons. It didn’t take long for progress to occur as Truman won more games during that first season than in the previous five. Year number two they exceeded that win total again and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time in six seasons. Those two seasons laid the foundation for Truman’s 20-win season, in 2013-14, after Lorensen departed for Iowa Wesleyan. Lorensen was instrumental in the development of 2013-14 Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year Mike Carlson, who is now on his third pro contract overseas. In addition, Lorensen successfully recruited 2011-12 Freshman of the Year Seth Jackson. During his time in Kirksville, he coached four all-conference players.
Lorensen spent three seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) under Head Coach Derrin Hanson. During his time at UNO, the team had a combined record of 58-29; won a conference tournament championship; qualified for the NCAA tournament; had four all-conference selections; boasted two all-region performers; and had one all-American—former Spartan Assistant Coach Tyler Bullock.
Lorensen’s first coaching position came at his alma mater, Grand View University in Des Moines. During his one season on staff, he helped one player earn all-American honors and three players receive all-conference accolades. Lorensen’s lone recruiting class proved to be as good as any in the history of Grand View. It included one junior college all-American and three all-region performers from the ICCAC. That group led the Vikings to more than 50 wins in two years, back-to-back conference titles, and two sweet 16 appearances at the NAIA National Tournament.
As a player, Lorensen played one year, from 2003-04, at Quincy University in Quincy, IL, and three years for Grand View University in Des Moines. Lorensen’s highlights playing for Grand View included serving as team captain; being named a Champion of Character; being named honorable mention and academic all-conference all three years; and achieving the 1,000 point club.
Lorensen has coaching in his pedigree, as his dad has been the head coach at Prairie City-Monroe (PCM) High School for more than three decades while accumulating 534 career wins, 10 state tournament appearances, and one state championship.
Assistant Coach: Dillon Jenkins
Dillon (DJ) Jenkins entered his first season with the Spartans in 2017 after capping off a memorable five years coaching high school basketball in Peoria, IL.
Jenkins and his father established Peoria Quest Charter Academy's basketball program when the high school was built in 2012. The two were handed a group of players from a 15-man freshmen team, some of which had never played basketball. Within four years, the Gators of Peoria Quest Charter Academy had moved to varsity basketball and appeared in the IHSA Class 1A state rankings, reaching as high as seventh in the state. During the 2015-16 season, they posted a 20-11 record and won their first regional championship in school history. The Gators made it to the Illinois Class 1A Sweet Sixteen before falling in the sectional championship game.
The Jenkins' and their Gators did not stop there though. During the 2016-17 season they won another IHSA Class 1A Regional Championship. The Gators again marched all the way to the Illinois Class 1A Sweet Sixteen, falling in the sectional championship with a record of 28-5. They were ranked first in the state in IHSA Class 1A for more than six weeks, finishing the year ranked fourth. During their three varsity seasons with the Jenkins' coaching duo at the helm, the Gators accumulated a record of 61-30. The Gators not only succeeded on the court, but also excelled in the classroom. The team posted a team grade point average of 3.2 during the 2016-17 season, with three of their seniors ranked in the top 10 of their graduating class.
While coaching at Peoria, Jenkins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Bradley University, in Peoria, IL. He was employed as middle school physical education teacher at Peoria Quest Charter Academy during 2016-17. Jenkins has been invited and has assisted at basketball camps for youth from grades 5-12 at Division I universities including the University of Wisconsin and the University of Notre Dame. In April 2017, Jenkins and his father coaches at the Speaks Basketball Senior All-Star game in Jacksonville, IL.
Assistant Coach: Blake Peterson
Blake Peterson, a native of Coon Rapids, MN, joined the Spartans basketball staff for the 2017-18 season. He spent the previous season at NCAA Division II Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN.
Peterson assisted with the men’s basketball program at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN, during the 2015-16 season. While at St. Mary's, the team posted its most successful season in 20 year. Before coaching at St. Mary's, Peterson assisted at Minnesota State University in Mankato for three years. During his time at Minnesota State, the team qualified for the NCAA Division II National Tournament each season and recorded an 82-18 overall record.
Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies at Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN.