PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College head men’s basketball coach Mitch Freeman announced today that he will continue his collegiate coaching career at Corban University, a private NAIA Division II Christian college of about 1,200 students in Salem, Oregon. Assistant coach Donald Rollman accepted the position as interim head coach for the Pirates for the 2018-19 season.
Freeman completed his fifth year at Peninsula with a runner-up finish at the 2018 Northwest Athletic Conference Championship Tournament in March. He posted 88 wins against 55 losses in five years, reaching the playoffs four straight years and winning the North Region title in 2015-16.
“We’re sad to see Mitch go. He’s been a model head coach,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life, “but we also support our coaches with their careers and I know he’ll be successful as a head coach at the four-year level. Corban is a great fit for Mitch and his family. The Warriors will definitely benefit from all he brings to the table.”
In the meantime, Peninsula’s assistant coach Donald Rollman has been preparing for this opportunity for six years.
“Our normal process is to conduct an immediate national search for a new head coach and Athletic Development Coordinator, but we felt it was in the best interest of our players, our recruits, and the program to give Donald an opportunity,” Ross said. The former Bremerton High School three-sport athlete will serve both the coaching and fund-raising roles as an interim.
Rollman was on the coaching staff at Olympic College in Bremerton from 2013 to 2016. He joined Coach Freeman’s staff in the fall of 2016 where he’s had a very positive impact on the program, working alongside Port Angeles native Brian Shirley, Peninsula’s other assistant. The Pirates had two straight runner-up finishes in the North Region and this year, the third best finish in Pirate basketball history, a second-place showing at the NWAC Tournament. Rollman has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Central Washington University and a Master's Degree in Athletic Administration and Coaching from Concordia University. In addition to coaching, he will serve as Athletic Development Coordinator, overseeing athletic scholarship fund raising efforts.
“I am very excited to have the chance to lead this program,” Rollman said. “The opportunity to lead, coach, and help these young men succeed is one that I am very grateful for and to be able to do it at a place like Peninsula College and Port Angeles is special. My two years as an assistant here with Coach Freeman have been an unbelievable time of learning and growing that I will always keep with me and for that I am thankful. I can’t wait to get start this new adventure as head coach at Peninsula College. Go Pirates!”
Meanwhile, Coach Freeman is excited about his new opportunity.
“I want to thank Dr. Robins, Vice President Jack Huls, Athletic Director Rick Ross, and the entire Peninsula College community for supporting my family and I over the past five years,” Freeman said. “To all the players who have put on a PC Jersey, thank you for making Peninsula College a high caliber program that has competed at the top of the conference year in and year out. Lastly, to all the community businesses and families who helped me create additional resources for our student athletes, you are amazing.”
"Peninsula College has allowed me to grow and develop as a head coach, and I am forever grateful,” Freeman added. “The Olympic Peninsula is a very special place, and we can't thank this Port Angeles/Sequim community enough for loving and supporting us for the past five years. Our family has developed lifelong friends who we love and wish the best for. Once a Pirate, always a Pirate!"
Corban University athletic director Sue Roth shared the news today in a press release on the Warrior Athletic web site.
“We had an amazing pool of candidates and Mitch rose to the top,” she said. “Besides his extensive experience as a successful coach in quality programs in Washington and California, Mitch brings a heartfelt desire to have his basketball program reflect the Lord Jesus Christ and to spur on the culture that supports the mission of Corban. We couldn’t be more excited to have Mitch join our athletic department and the whole community of Corban University.”