Lake Superior College plans to add men’s and women’s basketball to its athletic offerings starting in the fall of 2018 — and has announced its first two hires.
Three-time Minnesota boy’s high school Section 7AAAA Coach of the Year Chuck Tolo has been named inaugural head men’s basketball coach at LSC. He brings 37 years of basketball coaching experience, including 31 years within the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association.
Most recently, Tolo served as head coach of boys’ basketball at Duluth East High School for 11 years, when he led the team to the state tournament three times including a state runner-up finish. He was named Section 7AAAA Coach of the Year in 2006, 2011 and 2012. In addition, he was named MBCA All-Star Series Coach in 2011.
However, Tolo says his greatest achievement is that every player he coached graduated high school and went on to post-secondary education.
“Throughout my career as a coach, my top priority has always been the education of the athletes,” said Tolo. “My philosophy is, players are students first and athletes second. I look forward to launching a successful men’s basketball program at LSC and watching our student-athletes thrive in the classroom and on the court.”
Assisting Tolo will be Phillip Homere, who has been named he program’s first assistant coach. Homere currently serves as assistant boy’s basketball coach at Duluth East High School, a position he has held since 2015. A 2013 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, he also works as a case manager at the Human Development Center in Duluth.
Homere says he is also excited to help get LSC’s men’s basketball up and running, and will stress fundamentals.
“You do not have to be the best player on your team to make a huge impact, just strive to be the hardest worker and everything else will work itself out,” said Homere. “Putting the ball in the basket is the easy part, but getting down in a stance and not allowing your opponent to score is the fun part.”
Lake Superior College introduced two new co-ed athletic offerings this fall — Clay Target and Mountain Biking/Cycling, and both experienced tremendous success their first season. The LSC Clay Target Team recently won their league, and had the two top individual shooters in the league. A member of the LSC Cycling Team won the first race the team participated in, as Andrew Smith won the men’s short track cross country title at the North Central Collegiate Cycling Conference (NCCCC) at Spirit Mountain in September. Two members of the cycling team just returned from competing at the USA Cycling MTB National Championships in Missoula, Montana. In addition, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams made the playoffs this year.
Mike Seymour, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs and acting Athletic Director at LSC, expressed excitement about starting the men’s and women’s programs and the positive impact it will have at the school.
“We have seen an increase in enrollment and school pride with the success of our soccer programs, as now with clay target and the cycling team,” said Seymour. “Adding basketball will allow us to continue to add to that momentum while giving our students more opportunities to get involved.”
Lake Superior College plans to begin men’s and women’s basketball in the fall of 2018, pending a successful student referendum this spring. Hiring coaches now allows for time to begin recruiting, as well as to prepare schedules and sponsorships.
LSC will announce the women’s head and assistant basketball coach as soon as those hirings are finalized.