The Montana State University-Northern Lights men's basketball team has a new assistant coach, head coach Shawn Huse announced.
Huse has added Nate Larson, who played for the Lights from 1994 to 1996. In those years, the Lights won the Frontier Conference Championship and made trips to the NAIA Men's National Basketball Tournament.
"We are very fortunate to have Nate join the MSU-Northern Lights' basketball program as he is making a great sacrifice to follow his passion of basketball," Huse said. "He attended and played here at Northern for a couple of years so he is very familiar with this institution and this area"
For the 2001-2002 season, Larson was the head girls basketball coach at Butte Central High School and was also the freshman boys basketball coach. For the 2000-2001 season, he was a junior varsity boys basketball coach at Whitehall High School. He also was a student assistant coach from 1998-1999 at Montana Tech.
"I am really excited about returning to Havre and helping Shawn build the men's basketball program by installing integrity, honesty and hard work," Larson said. "I believe MSU-Northern has the community support, facilities, and the right head coach to bring the men's program back to the top of the Frontier Conference. I am honored to be a part of Coach Huse's program."
This past season, Larson was the tournament director for the Frontier Conference Men's and Women's tournaments. As the tournament director, Larson devised the tournament format, presented proposals to league coaches, secured corporate sponsors, communicated tournament logistics with numerous school parties and media outlets, sold program ads, scheduled tournament workers and administered game play. He also increased the Frontier Conference post-season basketball tournament profits by 800 percent.
"His knowledge and interest of the game and the Frontier Conference is vast," Huse said. "He understands what kind of behind the scenes work goes into a successful program. He proposed, developed and ran the Frontier Conference Tournament last year. With the help of some local businesses, he put on a first-class, one-site tournament."
Larson's basketball accomplishments include: NAIA Academic All-American (1996-97, 1997-98), Frontier Conference Academic All-Conference (1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98), MSU-Northern Student-Excellence Award (1995-96), MSU-Northern Chancellor's Presidential Scholarship recipient (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96), senior co-captain of the Frontier Conference men's basketball championship team with Montana Tech (1997-98), member of two other Frontier Conference men's basketball championship teams with MSU-Northern (1994-95, 1995-96), four trips to the NAIA Men's National Basketball Tournament (two with MSU-Northern and two with Montana Tech), Montana Class B state basketball champions and tournament MVP with Cut Bank High School (1992-93), member of the Montana-Wyoming All-Star Classic Basketball team (1993).
"He was an outstanding student and school representative while attending Montana Tech," Huse said. "Not to mention, he played a major part in Montana Tech's first-ever trip to the National Tournament. I know he will play a key role in any future successes of the Lights."
Larson graduated in 1999 from Montana Tech with a bachelor of science degree in engineering science and with a business minor in finance and management.