By Kuhl, Nick on August 14, 2019.
Assistant coach James McKinnon has been named as interim head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn men’s basketball team for the 2019-20 season.
The appointment, announced Tuesday afternoon, follows the resignation of former head coach Mike Hansen at the end of June.
“While it was the department’s goal to complete a full search to find the next head coach for the program, a search that late in the summer is always challenging,” officials said in a news release. “As we narrowed our search, it became apparent during the process that the tight timelines were creating issues that hindered the completion of a successful search. A decision was made to pursue an interim appointment and following the upcoming season, Pronghorns Athletics will conduct a full search in early 2020 to fill the head coaching vacancy.”
“James will have some big shoes to fill with Mike’s departure,” said Ken McInnes, Executive Director, Sport and Recreation, in the release.
“This is a veteran squad and James has the passion and basketball experience to help us achieve the high expectations we have of our men’s basketball team. I’m excited to see what this team, under James’s leadership, will do in the always competitive Canada West conference.”
McKinnon joined the Pronghorns last season as a full time assistant coach, taking the lead in player development and defensive game planning. He played both NCAA Division 2 and Division 3 basketball, suiting up for the Dominican University of California for three seasons before finishing at Aurora University
Following his college basketball career, McKinnon played professionally in Australia with the Sandringham Sabres in the SEABL and Western Port Steelers in the BigV Division 1. McKinnon coached U12 and U 18 teams with the Sandringham Sabres and most recently worked with the Elite Edge Basketball Academy at Monash University’s Peninsula Campus.
The Pronghorn men’s basketball team is set to open camp Aug. 26 before facing the Lethbridge College Kodiaks in the team’s first non-conference game on Sept. 26. The Canada West season opens on Nov. 1.