LCSC hires Rinta as new men's basketball coach
Brandon Rinta, who has been assistant coach at Northwest Nazarene University for the past four seasons, has been named head men’s basketball coach at Lewis-Clark State College, Warrior athletic director Gary Picone announced on Tuesday.
Rinta replaces Tim Walker, who resigned in March after serving as head coach for six seasons.
Picone says Rinta comes highly recommended by several in the coaching profession. He played at Central Washington University where he graduated in 2001. He then spent five years at Eastern Washington University under head coaches Ray Giacoltti, who is now an assistant coach at Gonzaga, and Mike Burns. He then accepted the top assistant job at NNU.
Rinta also was in consideration for the head job at another school in the Pacific Northwest when he accepted the LCSC position.
“We feel very fortunate to have found a coach of his background and experience, and his desire to be a head coach at a quality NAIA program,” Picone said. “He is very familiar with our program. We’re excited because we feel he is a great fit for us. He brings all the qualities to the job that we want.”
“I’m really excited,” Rinta said. “I have followed Lewis-Clark State basketball and know the success they have had. I’m excited about being a part of that success now. I know how good the Frontier Conference is and it definitely is going to be challenging.”
Picone said he realizes the public heard a lot of names pop up during the coaching search. Rinta, however, was a late applicant in the search and his name quickly went to the top of the list.
“In hiring a men’s basketball coach with the goal in mind of finding the best person possible, you have to keep your options open and be flexible because in 24 hours it can change,” Picone said. “He’s a great fit for us. He brings all the quantities we want.”
Picone said Rinta has been an integral part of NNU’s success during the past four years, not only with operations and recruiting, but coaching on the court. That’s why his name popped up as a possible candidate during recent and current coaching searches.
“Obviously I want to stay in the area because I’m a Pacific Northwest guy,” Rinta said. “This is where all my recruiting ties and relationships are. I like Lewiston and I think that when I was there, the people that I met were great. It’s a great set-up. There’s support from both the school and the community to have success there.”
Rinta said he’s excited to get to work right away. He’s expected to be in his new office at LCSC late Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m.
“I’m excited to get going,” Rinta said. “I know it will be a challenge because there are some really good coaches in the league. I don’t care if it’s your first year or 20th year of coaching, it’s going to be challenging every year in this conference.”
Rinta grew up in Chehalis, Wash., and graduated from W.F. West High where he earned four letters in basketball and two in football. He was an All-State selection in basketball his senior season when he won the Black Hills Player of the Year. He also was his team’s MVP his senior year in football when he earned second-team honors as a running back and wide receiver.
Rinta played two seasons at Yakima Valley Community College. During his second year, the team was co-coached by former Central Washington legendary coach Dean Nicholson and current Boise State head coach and former Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice. He earned first-team all-NWAACC honors when he averaged 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He was the team MVP, captain and Most Inspirational his final season there.
Rinta then transferred to CWU for his final two seasons. He started at 53 games at CWU at guard and helped the team to a 39-17 mark during those seasons. In both years, he served as co-captain and won the team’s Hustle Award. He also won the Most Inspirational Award his senior year.
He averaged 8.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 steals at CWU. He helped the team to the NCAA Division II West Regional both seasons and the Pacific West Conference regular-season title as a junior.
Rinta earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Fitness Education from CWU and a Master’s degree in athletic administration from Eastern Washington.
Rinta will be joined in Lewiston by his wife, Deanna.