ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) With Rock Valley's last two men's basketball coaches joining forces in Kansas, the Sunflower State sent one of its own in Tim Sandquist to lead the Golden Eagles back to a place they have not been in two years: the national tournament.
Sandquist was officially hired at the end of June making RVC his first stop as a head coach.
The 34-year-old comes to Rockford after two seasons as an assistant at NJCAA Division I program Northwest Kansas Tech.
Sandquist helped the young Mavericks program go 18-13 last year as the team captured its 100th victory.
He says if Rock Valley wants to return to the big stage, he's going to have to put his players through a tougher schedule.
"I think an important thing to do is play a competitive schedule during the regular season and play against Division II and Division I teams," said Sandquist. "So come region time, you are battle tested and you've been in close games and tough situations and your team won't fold when you get into crunch time."
Sandquist says there is not a better program to start off your head coaching career.
"It's a really attractive spot to come to," Sandquist said. "Not a lot of times is your first head coaching job is going to be at a school that has the prestige that Rock Valley does. I think that's one of the biggest things that attracted me to the job. Especially in the junior college ranks and even where I was out in western Kansas Rock Valley was well known. When you win national championships people take notice of that."
Although he walks into a gym with national championship banners hanging, he does not feel the pressure.
"I don't feel any outside pressure," said Sandquist. "Any time you are in athletics, there's going to be an internal pressure to win anyways. That's just the pressure that you put on yourself so no I don't feel any pressure. I understand the expectations that are here. We intend to uphold and exceed those expectations going forward."