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Ryan Orton enters his first season as men’s basketball coach for the Western Wyoming Community College Mustangs. Orton was hired in May of 2012 and takes over a program that has been very successful in recent years including a seventh place finish at the National Tournament during the 2010-11 campaign.
Prior to his arrival in Rock Springs, Orton was the top assistant at the University of Alaska Anchorage. During his three seasons with the Seawolves they amassed a 64-27 overall record which included back-to-back NCAA Regional berths in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He was responsible, among other things, for a good portion of the program’s recruiting efforts. UAA signed four Alaska State Players of the Year including the 2010 Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year while he was the recruiting coordinator. Orton also recruited Taylor Rohde who was named the 2012 NCAA Division II National Player of the Year.
Before his tenure at Alaska Anchorage, Orton also served in assistant coaching positions at Montana State University (2006-08) and Northwest Nazarene University (2004-06). With the MSU Bobcats the team qualified for the Big Sky Conference Tournament in both 2007 and 2008. Orton was responsible for team academics while in Bozeman and the team received the Allison Award in 2007-08 for the largest improvement in team gpa from one academic year to the next. At NNU, the team finished 17-10 in 2004-05 and the 17 wins are the most by a Crusader men’s basketball team since transitioning to the NCAA Division II level. Once again in addition to being the program’s recruiting coordinator, he was responsible for academics and during a two year span the men’s basketball team had a 100% graduation rate.
In 2003-04 Orton served as the head coach at Lane Community College in Eugene, OR. During the 2003-04 season the Titans finished second in the entire NWAACC (Oregon & Washington Community Colleges) in points allowed per game at 63.8.
Orton began his coaching career at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA. During his five years with the Eagle men’s basketball program they qualified for the Big Sky Conference Post-Season Tournament each year including three straight Big Sky Conference Tournament finals appearances in 2001, 2002 and 2003. In 2002-03 they beat a nationally ranked top ten opponent in St. Joseph’s University to begin the season and qualified for its first ever National Post-Season Tournament, the NIT, since going Division I.
He also has extensive basketball camp and clinic experience. Orton was the camp director at all of his coaching stops which included running team camp, overnight camp, day camp and going off campus to conduct two and three day camps at various towns in the state of Alaska.
An 11 year member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), coaching is in his roots. His father, Doug, was a successful high school coach for 22 years in Oregon and coached current Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. He was voted, by his peers, as State Coach of the Year in 1981 and again in 1983. In addition, his younger brother Eric is a varsity boy’s head coach at Springfield High School in Oregon. Prior to his post with the Millers, Eric was the varsity coach at Marist High School and North Eugene High School where he was voted 2011 Midwestern League Coach of the Year.
Orton earned his Bachelor's degree at Eastern Oregon University (La Grande, OR) in Physical Education & Health and his Master's degree in Physical Education at Eastern Washington University (Cheney, WA). He resides in Rock Springs and in his free time enjoys running and playing golf.
Assistant Coach Men's Basketball
Coach Archibald grew up in Laramie, WY. Coach Archibald graduated from Kemmerer High School. He worked for a couple of years and then came back to college to play basketball for two years at Western. In his sophomore year, he was voted as team captain by his team and started as a small forward. Travis helped lead Western to conference and sub-region championships averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds. Earning all-conference honors for academics, he graduated with an Associate of Science degree in 2005 and felt he had a very successful career at Western in both basketball and school.
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