College of Idaho Athletic Director Marty Holly has announced the resignation of Reagan Rossi as head women's basketball coach in order to assume full-time duties as associate athletic director. Rossi just completed her 13th season at the helm of the Lady Yotes and led the team to five NAIA Division II national tournament appearances during her tenure. Her top assistant, former C of I men's basketball head coach, Mark Owen, will assume the head coaching position in July.
“It has been exciting to watch Reagan grow as a basketball coach,” Holly said. “The metamorphosis from a young coach to one of the better coaches' in the NAIA has been remarkable. It saddens me that I've asked her to resign to assume a much needed role in our athletic administration, but it is something that I, she, and the department embraces.”
“It's the perfect opportunity for me and my family, along with the College,” Rossi said. “The time is right with the addition of football to have a full-time associate athletic director with the administrative duties and fundraising that come with having 19 intercollegiate sports. I always knew at some point that I would take my career into an administrative role and at the present time, the opportunity presented itself and was something that I couldn't pass up.”
Rossi, a native of Mukwanago, Wis., led the Lady Yotes to Cascade Conference regular-season titles in 2009 and 2010, and made 13-consecutive appearances in the Cascade Conference Tournament, including winning the 2010 and 2012 tournament titles. She finishes her career with an overall record of 246-153.
“It's been a tremendous 19 years of coaching, especially my time here with the Lady Yotes,” Rossi said. “There has never been a day where I did not want to come to work and was blessed to coach amazing student-athletes and hope that I've touched their lives as much as they've touched mine.”
Her 2008-09 squad set a school record with a 29-5 record, including 21-consecutive victories, winning a share of the league crown. A year later, C of I won the CCC regular-season and tournament titles, earning Rossi CCC Coach of the Year honors. She coached four consensus NAIA All-Americans, while 21 of her players were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
“I am very proud of what we've accomplished in the last 13 years,” Rossi said. “This season, a conference coach mentioned to me that our kids just work hard all the time and outwork every team they play. It is something we've hung our hats on – I don't know if we've always had the most talented teams, but from buzzer to buzzer we will always work hard regardless of the score. I am proud that that is the name of C of I women's basketball.”
Owen, a C of I grad and member of the College's Athletic Hall of Fame, served as the men's basketball head coach from 2000-10, winning 185 games and leading the Yotes to five NAIA Division II national tournaments – including a trip to the national quarterfinals in 2001.
“I am very excited to return to the head coaching role and excited to keep this program going in the direction that Coach Rossi started,” Owen said. Rossi echoed the sentiment, “Mark is a tremendous coach and the opportunity to have him on my bench the last two years was something our program could not pass up. I am excited for him and the direction that he will lead the program.”
Owen was a player under Holly during the mid-1980s and worked alongside the Hall of Fame coach during the 90s – including the 1996 NAIA Division II national championship season.
"Coach Owen has matured as a coach and developed a skill in working with female players that is second to none. Watching how players relate to him on and off the floor made this a no-brainer. Plus, he is one of the best offensive coaches' in the game."
The all-time Coyote leader in assists as a player, Owen led the Coyote men to CCC tournament titles in 2001, 2003, and 2004 – earning CCC Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after guiding the club to a 27-7 record and a No. 3 national ranking. Owen resigned as coach following the 2009-10 season.
“I took a year away from basketball and then spent a year coaching the Idaho Flash club team – and the girls on the team made me laugh and enjoy the game again. I am in a better place in my life and have the batteries recharged to continue the tradition of women's basketball at the C of I.”
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.