Hidden and dwarfed in the shadows cast by one of the country’s most successful football programs, a coach who many questioned as the right hire has quickly vaulted Oregon to the verge of national powerhouse in basketball.
A true underdog, Dana Altman learned to work hard without the limelight shining on his face early in life. His play as a guard at unheralded Eastern New Mexico University earned him a position as assistant coach at equally unheralded Western State in Colorado, followed by head coach positions at two junior colleges and a stint with Marshall in West Virginia. By the time he joined Kansas State he was emerging as a great young mind in the game.
Altman moved on to lead Creighton from 1994 to 2010. Beginning with a team that had a 7-22 record the previous season, he turned the program around while receiving many prestigious awards and led Creighton to thirteen consecutive postseason appearances and a stretch of eleven straight seasons with 20-plus wins. Despite Altman’s success at Creighton, many still doubted his ability to produce a winner in a conference like the Pac-12, but in three short years he quieted the doubters with three consecutive 20+ win seasons, a run to the Sweet 16, a Pac-12 Championship and Pac-12 Coach of the Year recognition last season.
This program is on its way to continuous national recognition in a conference that is making great strides on the competitive scale. With his great coaching, recruitment and ability to utilize transfers, Altman finds a way to maximize his team’s talent every year. Look for him to do bigger and better things, and don’t be surprised as the Ducks emerge from the shadows and get closer to the coveted Championship game next season. TAKE NOTICE!