Overtime: UAA’s current coaching carousel shouldn’t worry fans

Three Elite Eight appearances. Three West Region Championships. Six consecutive trips past the NCAA Tournament First Round. Four Great Alaska Shootout titles. An .838 winning percentage, which is best amongst all active Division II women’s basketball coaches.

All of that was accomplished in Tim Moser’s six-year tenure at the helm of the UAA Women’s Basketball program.  So it should come as no shock that a bigger program came knocking on Moser’s door looking to give him a chance at the next level up. Sure enough, that opportunity came when Moser accepted an assistant coaching gig with Division I Colorado State: CSU’s gain, UAA’s loss.

But I’m here to tell you that not all is lost and the sky is still not falling.

In no way, shape or form am I denying that I have asked the very question that has crossed just about every UAA women fan’s mind: How can we replace a Tim Moser?

The answer, sad to say: you don’t. But who says you have to?

One of the beautiful things about Moser’s tenure here at UAA is that he helped put the Seawolf Women’s program back on the map and when word got out that the team needs a new coach, the school was bound to get to some serious looks from other highly qualified coaches looking to leave their mark.

Sure enough, the Seawolves and UAA Athletic Director Steve Cobb found a coach who not only has solid credentials but has already proven he can carry on success in a program.

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In 2004, Nathan Altenhofen became the head coach at Odessa College. He helped the school reach the National Championship game in 2005, and in 2006, they returned and won it all. Over those two seasons, he went 66-3.

Before he got to Odessa, the Wranglers were conference titlists.

Witness his start-up at NAIA school Saint Ambrose in 2007: Altenhofen helped steer the program to the Sweet 16 and a 29-6 record. In three years, Altenhofen received a Midwest Collegiate Conference Coach of the year award and went 73-25

Before his arrival at Saint Ambrose; they, too, were conference titlists.

Is anyone seeing the trend yet?

Perhaps even more astounding that Altenhofen’s overall record of 153-40 as a head coach is the fact that he’s 19-4 in the postseason as a coach. Those are jaw-dropping numbers for the second season and show that this guy knows how to get it done when it matters most: in the month of March when titles and banners are at stake.

So while we recognize and congratulate the departing Moser, who will surely go down in the books as one of the best coaches in any sport this school has seen, we turn the page and open a new chapter in the program’s history.

And if Altenhofen and his reputation for wining carries over to UAA, expect that chapter to be another filled with similar success — just with a different author.