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Ammann loves job

Irvine Scene

Concordia head coach collected his 300th win with men's basketball team and has garnered great success with Eagles.

February 11, 2012|By Joe Haakenson, Special to the Daily Pilot
(Courtesy of Concordia…)

There never was any moment when Ken Ammann "decided" he wanted to be a coach. In a way, it was always a given, it was in his blood.

Ammann's parents taught and coached at Edison and Fountain Valley high schools, so it was natural for Ammann to find his way back to school after he completed his own education.

Even his time as a kid when he roamed the sidelines as a ball boy for Edison football games along with future NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich was an experience from which he learned.

After bouncing around a few different places as an assistant coach, he landed at Concordia University in Irvine in 2001 as the school's new men's head basketball coach, and the rest is school history.

Ammann got his 300th career win on Jan. 24 with a victory over Point Loma Nazarene, a notable achievement, but "it doesn't get me excited," Ammann said. "It's just a number."

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Ammann does get excited when reflecting on his time at Concordia, now in his 11th season running the program, when he thinks about the relationships he's formed with his players and his assistant coaches.

"They say in order to be a successful coach you need great players, and that's true, but I think No. 1 is having a coaching staff that you get along well with," Ammann said. "I've had great assistants, and I've gotten incredible support from the administration here at Concordia."

Those relationships, when they're good, breed success, Ammann says, and it's hard to argue with him.

In his 10 seasons to date, he has won one NAIA national championship and taken the Eagles to the national championship game two other times. Concordia has won the always-tough Golden State Athletic Conference title four of the past five seasons, and his teams have qualified for the 32-team national tournament in eight of 10 seasons.

Ammann was the NAIA national coach of the year in 2003 and was the GSAC coach of the year three times (2007, '10, '11), and his teams have averaged 28.4 wins per season.

Ammann set the bar high for himself early, winning the NAIA national championship in just his second season in 2002-03. That year, the Eagles went 36-4, winning more games than any men's basketball team at any collegiate level.

With all the success his teams have had, though, he said his most memorable season was one that doesn't stand out among the others. They were 21-12, but what that year special was that it was Ammann's first as a head coach.

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