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RANGELY | In fall of 2011, two Western Slope teens, Nathan Terrin and Thomas Powers, arrived at Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) with hoop dreams.
Though the pair grew up only 40 miles apart, they had never met until they donned red and black to play for the Spartans in Hefley Gym. Fast forward eight years and the two stand on the same court, this time as the coaching staff of the team that brought them together.
Nathan Terrin, originally from Parachute, felt right at home when he arrived in Rangely in 2011. “I grew up in a small town, so it was no big shock to me to come here,” said Terrin. “I had goals and spent my time in classes and shooting around in the gym.”
Once he graduated from CNCC with an Associate of Arts degree, Terrin spent a semester at Doane College majoring in biology, but found it was not a good fit for him. He transferred to Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and kinesiology. This August, Terrin will complete a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration through Concordia Irvine.
During his last semester at CMU, he participated in an internship with former Spartan Men’s Basketball Head Coach Adrian Hayes, which led to an assistant coach position in September 2016. When Hayes left the Spartan coaching staff to return to California this fall, Terrin stepped up to take the helm.
Enter Thomas Powers, who travelled up Hwy. 139 from Grand Junction to play for the Spartans in 2011. Even coming from a larger city to Rangely, Powers felt the step up in responsibility and pride. “It is a big thing, representing a school and a community and being a part of a team at that level,” explained Powers.
After completing his Associate of Arts degree at CNCC, Powers played basketball for Central Methodist University while completing his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in business and sports management.
Both men credit Hayes with providing mentorship on and off the court, during and after their time at CNCC. Their relationships with Hayes, CNCC faculty and staff, and Rangely led this coaching duo to their current positions.
“I continued working with Coach Hayes during summer basketball camps and we built a deeper relationship. At CNCC, Todd Ward did a great job with me as an advisor and as my biology instructor,” said Terrin.
“Since I have been back, I have continued to work with the community through coaching. Rangely is a friendly community and they really back things well. I want to continue to build those community relationships through outreach,” Terrin added.
Powers mentioned sociology and psychology instructor Jessica Krueger as a strong influence on him during his time at CNCC. “When she heard I had been hired to coach basketball here, she immediately came to find me,” said Powers. “I also credit coach Jed Moore with building my mental toughness with his workouts and Candra Robie with helping me stay on the right track academically.”
When the assistant coaching position came open, each of these people was a positive factor in the decision; however, the biggest draw for Powers was the ability to work with his friend and past teammate. “I love basketball and feel like I have a lot to offer student athletes, but working with Nate was a huge factor. We work well together,” said Powers.
Hayes trusted Terrin’s ability to take on the program he built during 10 years and praised Terrin’s choice to bring in Powers as his assistant.
“I am very proud of those two gentlemen,” said Hayes. “I have watched them grow up, from college freshman to leaders of men they both have an understanding of CNCC and the challenges they face in The SWAC. They have the experience and knowledge to take CNCC to great heights.”
This dynamic duo has big goals for the Spartan basketball program. In addition to helping the team meet their own goals of scoring wins on each conference opponent at least once this season and maintaining a strong team grade point average, Terrin would like to transfer all of his sophomore players to four-year schools.
“If they want to continue to play basketball, I want them to have an opportunity to do that. If they don’t, I still want to be sure that they transfer on to complete a bachelor’s degree,” said Terrin. “I also want to help them with life in general and be a mentor and role model.”
Powers added that an additional goal he has is for the team to enter the region tournament higher than fifth seed.
Flashing back to 2012, both coaches recall a big moment when the Spartans beat then No. 8 in the nation North Idaho College. They have hopes to lead the current Spartan team to their own big moment this season.
Those who have not attended a Spartan basketball game yet this season missed several strong performances, including a heartbreak loss to Salt Lake Community College (No. 8 in the nation) in overtime on Jan.10.
Spartan basketball faces Utah State Eastern in its next home showing on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. after the CNCC women’s basketball team plays at 3 p.m. Keep an eye on the CNCC Facebook page or www.cncc.edu for possible game time changes due to weather.
Special to the Herald Times