Mark Madsen Ready To Tackle Challenge In First Season As UVU Head Coach
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – New Utah Valley head basketball coach Mark Madsen is quickly adjusting to his new position in Orem and his first head coaching job in college basketball.
He is tasked with continuing the success for the Wolverines that Mark Pope has carried throughout the years and bringing Utah Valley to being contenders in the Western Athletic Conference.
Madsen caught up with KSL Sports’ Sam Farnsworth to talk about how he got into the coaching profession, what led him to Utah Valley and continuing the success of the program.
What Led Him To Coaching?
Madsen got into coaching right after he was done playing in the NBA, notably with the Los Angeles Lakers. But a book he read led him to pursue coaching.
“I was reading John Wooden’s book ‘they call me coach’ and just hearing the way he discussed coaching in his book and the experiences he had, it made me want to pursue that as a job. To help players become better and to help players achieve their potential. So, to come here and become the head coach was such a great opportunity and I could not be more excited to be here,” Madsen said.
He began his coaching career as an assistant for the Utah Flash, when they were in Orem in the NBA D-League. Madsen then coached at Stanford before being the head coach of the LA Defenders of the D-League. He then became an assistant for the Lakers before taking the Utah Valley job.
Going To Utah Valley
The Utah Valley job popped up for Madsen, especially when Lakers head coach Luke Walton parted ways with the organization, Madsen pursued the Wolverines job.
“I look at the tradition of Utah Valley, the players that have come here and have had some great people come to UVU,” Madsen stated.
Now he is focused on filling out his roster, with key players transferring to other schools.
“It’s understandable anytime that their is a coaching change, their is going to be transfers,” Madsen said. “I think we have had seven or eight players that were on the roster last season transfer and that’s okay. If anything, I think it should be that way, players should be able to transfer. We are bringing in new transfers, so we are going to mesh everyone together and we are going to have a great team.”
Madsen tried to keep every player that was on the roster last season to stay and was able to convince five players to remain at UVU.
“I am so grateful that those guys stayed,” Madsen said. “Now we still have some spots that we need to fill. It’s a big challenge to have that much turnover and have all of the guys come together. I will tell you this, our guys are coming together. They are working hard.”
With all of the turnover, Madsen still expects the Wolverines to be competitive during this upcoming season.
“We want to play one of the most competitive schedules in the nation,” Madsen stated. “When we announce it shortly, I think the greater Utah area is going to be very pleased with the schedule that we release. I want the players at Utah Valley to play against the best competition nationwide. We want this to be a school where we play the best, we develop the best and we are competing for the best.”