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Carroll College introduces alum Dan Pearson as 29th men's basketball coach

Dan Pearson
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 04, 2024

HELENA — After announcing the hire of alum Dan Pearson on May 13, Carroll College held a press conference Tuesday to introduce him as the new men’s basketball coach.

Pearson, a Billings native, played at Carroll for three years before joining the coaching staff as an assistant.

“The opportunity to come back is awesome. Super pleased about it and I don’t take this lightly. I want to do this the right way,” said Pearson.

The Saints are coming off a Frontier Conference championship-game appearance and will look to have another strong season right away under new leadership. Pearson was asked about his goals for the upcoming season, and in response made it clear that his priorities are values and laying down a strong foundation.

“For us, we get the right guys, we train the right way, we compete every day in practice, we commit to a system and grow through that system. Then those things, whatever they might be, short term or long term, those things are there,” he said.

“I’m much more committed in the immediate sense to make sure we get the right values that are ingrained in us daily and then we understand (that) the things we want as basketball players will come secondarily to that.”

At the top of his to-do list is finalizing his coaching staff and roster. There has been no announcements as of now regarding any signees, but Pearson says they are “active in the recruitment process” and have “small offers out for a few guys.” One player has committed and the announcement is to come in the near-future.

During the press conference, Pearson mentioned getting “Carroll guys” and focusing on the retention of players. Looking at Montana kids will play a huge role in getting players to stay within the program.

“We have to get Carroll guys. Carroll guys have a handful of values that make them Carroll guys,” Pearson said. “I think by chance because Carroll is rooted in Montana, that is naturally your honey hole for it. When you look at retention, kids transfer home. They usually don’t transfer away from home.”

As for his on-court strategy, Pearson says the team will focus on “pace, possession, and efficiency.” Coming from coaching at a professional level where the shot clock is 24 seconds compared to the 30 seconds in college, Pearson will implement a game plan that allows his team to play fast while being efficient and maximizing extra possessions.

A native of Billings and a graduate of Central Catholic High School, Pearson is a 2013 Carroll grad who was a three-year player on the men’s basketball team before joining the coaching ranks as an assistant under former Carroll coach Carson Cunningham.

Pearson replaces former Carroll head coach Ryan Lundgren, who departed after one season to become the associate head coach at Eastern Washington under Dan Monson.