CALDWELL — One of Idaho’s top young high school basketball coaches is moving up to the college level.
Vallivue boys basketball coach Ryan Lundgren has accepted an assistant coaching position with the College of Southern Idaho as one of its two paid assistants, allowing the 30-year-old to chase his dream of one day running his own college basketball program.
“Over the last four years, I’ve had other opportunities but never felt it was a good enough opportunity to leave where I was,” Lundgren said. “With CSI, I felt it was a home run for me. It was a no brainer.”
Lundgren took over Vallivue after four years as the director of basketball operations for the Boise State men’s basketball team. Since then, he led the Falcons to a 62-44 (.585) record and three state tournament appearances in four years, including a second-place finish at the 2016-17 4A state tournament.
Vallivue was 15-65 in the four years before Lundgren’s arrival.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Ryan, and we fully support his decision to move on,” Vallivue Athletic Director Tony Brulotte said in an email. “We would like to thank Coach Lundgren for all his time, effort and commitment to making the Vallivue boys basketball program one of the premier programs in the state.”
Lundgren, a 2007 Boise High graduate, also coached three seasons as an assistant at Bishop Kelly and one year as an assistant at his alma mater before joining Leon Rice’s staff at Boise State.
He’ll rejoin the college ranks at CSI with incoming coach Jeff Reinert. The College of Southern Idaho hired Reinert in May after Jared Phay, who led the program to a national junior college runner-up finish two years ago, left to become an assistant at Idaho State.
Reinert holds the career wins record at Utah Valley, going 179-77 in eight years. He’s also served as an assistant at BYU, Nebraska, Oregon State and Fresno State. Lundgren said learning from an experienced coach like Reinert at one of the country’s top junior colleges was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“Being at a place like CSI puts me in a place to connect with people, learn the game at a high level and learn how to run a program at that level,” Lundgren said. “It’ll be really valuable for me and my future.
Despite all the success at Vallivue, Lundgren said his favorite memories in Caldwell came off the court. He said he plans to keep up with the program from his new job two hours down the road.
“Everything we accomplished, the wins, the trophies, the accolades, all that stuff obviously stands out in your mind because they were great experiences and great memories,” Lundgren said. “But really the biggest ting is just the relationships you build with people.
“From former players, to community member, to administration, to alumni and all that stuff, that’s the stuff I’m going to remember the most.”