Kirtland CC Relaunches Men’s, Women’s Basketball Programs

Kirtland Athletic Facility 2022After a nearly eight-year absence, Kirtland Community College announced Monday that it is relaunching its men’s and women’s basketball programs.

The teams will begin competing in fall 2022 as members of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

“We’re not only excited by the College spirit that cheering on our basketball teams can bring to Kirtland, we’re also excited that the sport gives community members another way to engage with the College,” says Tom Quinn, Kirtland President. “We hope our basketball program will provide a fun way for families and community members to interact with Kirtland and one another.”

Kirtland currently sponsors golf, bowling and cross country team.

The basketball teams will call the college’s Event Center in Grayling home. It features new athletic facilities that seat 1,100 fans and includes three courts and an indoor track.

“We wanted to make sure that we had state-of-the-art facilities in place before launching such a high-contest sport,” explains Don Haskin, Kirtland’s Athletic Director. “This year, we’re focusing on recruiting local talent, or players with connections to the area. But, we’re looking ahead to being able to build a program that attracts top talent from across the State who can live on our campus.”

Nile Finney will coach the men’s program while Tom Ritter will lead the women’s team.

A former college basketball player at Rocky Mountain College, Finney brings eight years of coaching experience to Kirtland, including three at the collegiate level.

“I am very enthusiastic and dedicated to helping student-athletes become the best version of themselves on and off the court,” Finney said. “I use coaching to teach life skills while promoting an atmosphere of respect, discipline, integrity, and teamwork.”

Ritter is returning to the Firebird program and brings in more than 20 years of coaching experience.