Ryan Looney has been named the newest head coach of Point Loma men’s basketball team, announced Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton on Tuesday, May 3. Looney will become the 14th coach in the history of the PLNU men’s basketball program.
“I am beyond thrilled to have Ryan accept our offer to be the next head men’s basketball coach,” said Point Loma Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton. “He has demonstrated amazing success at our level, but I am even more impressed with his leadership of young men who have come through his programs. I know that he and his family are extremely excited to connect and engage with our community.”
Looney joins the Green & Gold after spending the past seven seasons as the head coach at Seattle Pacific. During his tenure, the Falcons won at least 20 games each season and have NCAA West Regional appearances in all seven years. He was a two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and his team won the league title in both 2010 and 2014. He also guided the Falcons to three straight GNAC Tournament Championships (2013-15) and had a 164-51 overall record (.763 winning%) with SPU for the best winning percentage in school history.
“I want to thank Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton and President Bob Brower for trusting me with the men’s basketball program at Point Loma Nazarene University,” said Looney. “Building a program that meets the Christian mission of the institution will be the foundation for every decision we make. PLNU will get my best effort every single day and it will be the expectation that our student-athletes do the same.”
Looney has also had great success in student-athlete development both on and off the court. The Falcons excelled in the classroom during Looney’s tenure where they received three consecutive Team Academic Excellence Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) with the latest in July 2015. SPU compiled an impressive 3.41 combined GPA and, for the fifth consecutive season, earned the GNAC trophy for posting the top GPA among the league’s men’s basketball teams. That figure was the highest in the conference for a men’s team in any sport. Looney also coached David Downs and Chris Banchero to GNAC Player of the Year honors, in addition to leading his team to wins over a NCAA Division I opponents Arizona, Nevada and Eastern Washington.
Prior to joining SPU, Looney coached at his alma mater of Eastern Oregon University. As a coach, he led the Mountaineers to back-to-back NAIA Tournament appearances and their first conference title in 38 years.
Looney graduated from EOU in 1998 and earned his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 2001. He is married to Julianna, and the couple has two children, daughter Peyton and son Micah.
“My family and I are excited to become part of the campus community at PLNU,” Looney added. “This is going to be a very big transition for us, but we have faith in the Lord knowing this is where we are supposed to be.
“I look forward to quickly getting an opportunity to meet the current team and finish recruiting,” Looney continued. “Building relationships and creating our culture will start now. We will work to make sure PacWest Championship and NCAA Tournament appearances are part of our future.”