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Long-time LSSU men’s basketball assistant coach Brandon Lokken '11 stepped in as the Lakers’ interim head women’s basketball coach on June 19, 2017. Lokken signed a four year contract to be head coach on April 25, 2018.
Lokken’s passion for the game of basketball is topped only by his passion for Lake Superior State. From the time he was an undergraduate he has served the basketball program and campus where needed.
Lokken was a student manager and student assistant coach for the LSSU men’s basketball program while earning an undergraduate degree in secondary education. During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, he was a member of the Goshen (Ind.) College men's basketball coaching staff. Lokken started out as the junior varsity head coach and served as interim varsity head coach for half a season. He returned to LSSU in 2014-15 as a second assistant and JV head coach, and was promoted to top assistant in 2015-16.
"Coach Lokken has been an invaluable member of our program for 10-plus years,” LSSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Hettinga said. “He worked his way up from being a student manager to being my top assistant. He truly loves the game of basketball, and, more importantly, he loves Lake State. Our women's program could not have found anyone who has invested more into Lake State than Brandon. He brings a high level of integrity and character to their program. I am very confident that he is the right person for the job. Although losing him is bittersweet, I still get to work alongside him, and I personally couldn't be happier for him. The future is bright for Lake State women's basketball.”
Lokken has played a vital role during LSSU’s impressive era with Hettinga, who recently finished his 11th season at LSSU. The Flushing, Mich., native was a student manager when the Lakers won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division title in 2008-09, and was part of two of Hettinga’s three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Lokken described his first stint at LSSU as a five-year internship. He said he gained confidence as a head coach during his two seasons at Goshen.
“Both jobs prepared me in their own ways,” he said. “They got me to a place where I’m ready for this opportunity.”
Lokken inherits a proud, but struggling women’s basketball program whose last winning season was in 2010-11. He has already reached out to peers who have coached both men’s and women’s basketball to get a feel for the differences and similarities.
“The competition is still the same,” he said. “We’re all going to work every day to get better. It will still have a family feel. It will be a unique experience and something I’ll really enjoy.”