Western State names head coach

Former Steamboat Springs Sailors' assistant takes charge in Gunnison

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Former Steamboat Springs assistant basketball coach Mike Moskowitz will assume the head job at Western State College. He has worked as an assistant at Western State since the 2005-06 season.

— Former Steamboat Springs High School assistant basketball coach Mike Moskowitz has been named the new men's basketball head coach at Western State College in Gunnison.

Moskowitz, who served as an assistant to Sailors coach Kelly Meek from 1997 to 2000, had been an assistant for the Mountaineers since 2005.

"It's an opportunity to coach in a competitive conference with a bunch of good young men," Moskowitz said. "Western's also an institution that cares about athletics and academics."

Last year was the best season for Western State since the 1998-99 season. The Mountaineers finished 12-15 overall and 7-12 in conference play and finished one game out of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

The Mountaineers lose only two seniors and return two of their three top scorers from the 2006-07 season.

"I'm hoping we can do things here that we haven't done in the past," Moskowitz said. "In every process, the quick fix isn't the answer. The goals are to concentrate on the process of developing young men and let winning take care of itself."

Moskowitz said Gunnison provides a natural setting for him and his family. He likens it to Steamboat and said he thinks he can use the mountain setting, small community and school as a strong point in recruiting.

"I see it as a location where we can get athletes there," he said. "It's an institution that not only cares deeply about its athletics but about education."

After serving as an assistant in Steamboat, Moskowitz served as an assistant at Mesa State in 2000 before moving to Adams State the next year. He left Alamosa after the 2004 season and became the head coach at Si Tanka University in Huron, S.D., during the 2004-05 season.

Moskowitz was an all-state selection as a guard at Osbourn High School in Manassa, Va. He went on to play at Hagerstown Junior College in Maryland, before getting his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State.

Meek said during Moskowitz's time in Steamboat his hard work and relationships with the players made him a sure fit as a coach.

"He worked with our kids, and they fell in love with him," Meek said, noting the Sailors guard play saw an instant improvement. "The kids at that level are going to appreciate his understanding of the game and hard work."

Moskowitz is on the recruiting trail, which has taken him all over the region and even to Texas for a junior college tournament.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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