New men’s basketball assistant coach Ryan Orton will replace Cameron Turner after his departure from UAA.
After six years of dedicated coaching, Turner took a position as head women’s basketball coach in Thatcher, Arizona at Eastern Arizona College. During his time at UAA, he helped the Seawolves obtain a 116-61 overall record and, for every one of his six seasons, Seawolves finished among the top four teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
“While I’m happy to be taking the next step in my coaching career, it will be difficult to leave behind all the friends we have made here at UAA and throughout Alaska,” Turner said.
During his time at UAA, Turner was well known for his successful recruits such as All-American Suki Wiggs, Spencer Svejcar and Brian McGill.
Osborne was left as the sole remaining men’s basketball coach, and began actively searching for an assistant.
“Although losing assistants is always bittersweet, I truly believe it is a priority for any program to help qualified, loyal assistants become head coaches. Cameron is now the fourth former assistant in the last eight years to become a collegiate head coach, which is a compliment to our program,” Osborne said.
Ryan Orton was Osborne’s assistant coach of choice for the 2017-18 season. Orton returned to UAA for the second time, switching back from his head coach position at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Orton played basketball as a team captain and earned MVP and All-Cascade Conference honors in 1996. He moved on to play more collegiate basketball at Northwest Christian University from 1991 to 1993
His early beginnings of coaching took place in Washington state at Division I Eastern Washington from 1998-2003. Orton coached on the staff that produced the Big Sky Conference’s best overall record over four seasons.
After that, Orton moved to Northwest Nazarene from 2004-2006 and was intensely involved with the program. He also boasts the accomplishment of being one of GNAC’s top young recruiters, signing the league’s 2007 Newcomer of the Year and the 2006 Idaho High School State Player of the Year.
From 2006 until 2008, Orton coached the Division I program at Montana State. His athletes had a 100 percent graduation rate, and he assisted in producing five Academic All-Big Sky honorees.
Orton originally began with the Seawolves in 2009, where he assisted Osborne for three seasons until departing for five years.
“We have maintained a close relationship over the last five years, and when he indicated a desire to return, it was an easy decision,” Osborne said.
Orton returned to UAA with ample experience in not only coaching, but recruiting as well, which he exemplified during his previous run with the Seawolves.
“He was an outstanding assistant his first three years, and with five years of head coaching experience, I’m sure he will make even more of an impact this time around. He knows UAA, he knows the Alaska basketball community, and he understands what we value in our program. I don’t think we could have found a better replacement,” Osborne said.
With the 2017-18 training season now well underway, Osborne and Orton have been actively working on the team to prepare them for the season.
“I am excited to welcome Ryan back to the Seawolf family,” Osborne said.
The Seawolves will debut their season on Oct. 28 for an alumni game at the Alaska Airlines Center. After that, they will head to Lancaster, California for their first regular season game on Nov. 4.