After 11 years as men’s basketball coach at Foothill College, Shanan Rosenberg is leaving for Linfield. That’s Linfield College, a private liberal arts school in McMinnville, Ore., with approximately 1,900 students.
“It’s one of the few places I’d consider leaving Foothill for,” said Rosenberg, hired April 19 to succeed longtime coach Larry Doty at the NCAA Division III college. “It has beautiful facilities and amenities. Almost 40 percent of the students are athletes, and they value athletics and a quality education, and there’s a lot of alumni support.”
Rosenberg added that he was already familiar with Linfield – he spent three years as an assistant coach at Lewis & Clark College in nearby Portland before coming to Foothill – and that McMinnville (population of 32,187 in the last census) is an ideal place for him and his family to live.
“It’s a great move for me professionally and for my family,” said the teacher and coach, who is married with three young children. “It’s a terrific fit.”
But if the move doesn’t work out, Rosenberg has the option to return to Foothill for the 2014-15 school year. He requested and received a one-year leave of absence from Foothill, according to athletic director Susan Gutkind.
Rosenberg downplayed the option, however. He made it clear that he intends to coach at Linfield for the long haul, calling it “a dream job.”
Rosenberg was selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants, according to a Linfield press release, and will oversee the varsity and junior-varsity teams, as well as teach health and kinesiology classes.
“I believe Shanan is a great fit for Linfield,” athletic director Scott Carnahan said. “He has all the attributes we were looking for and has achieved great success in every coaching opportunity he has had.”
Foothill compiled a 186-131 record under Rosenberg, who guided the Owls to the playoffs eight times. His most recent team went 22-5 in the regular season – the best mark in program history – and ranked as high as third in the state.
While the wins were nice, Rosenberg is most proud of how many of his players transferred to four-year schools – all but one, who entered the military, he said – and the bonds they formed.
“The feeling in the locker room at the end of every season is impactful and lasting,” he said. “There’s growth, love and brotherhood.”
Although Rosenberg is excited about starting his new job – he teaches classes at the Los Altos Hills community college through June – the St. Francis High graduate said he will look back fondly on his days at Foothill.
“I’ll miss a lot of things,” he said, “but what I’ll miss most are the relationships, especially with the players.”
Gutkind acknowledged that Rosenberg will be missed as well.
“Shanan’s leadership has provided Foothill with a men’s basketball program that does an outstanding job of preparing young men for whatever their futures might bring,” she said. “He emphasizes academic commitment and personal responsibility and the team regularly does a great job in the classroom. He’s been an excellent teacher of the game as well, so his teams have regularly achieved strong results because of his efforts.”
Gutkind – who added that the Linfield position “is a great opportunity” for Rosenberg and wished him success – must now find his successor. Whoever takes the job will have the title of “acting coach,” according to Gutkind, since Rosenberg has not resigned.
“We are evaluating our options for the coming season and hope to have a decision soon,” she said.