Coach Michael Swanegan at tryouts in the Hutto-Patterson gym on Sept. 2 2014.
Coach Michael Swanegan at tryouts in the Hutto-Patterson gym on Sept. 2 2014. (Daniel Nerio/Courier)

What makes men’s basketball head coach Michael Swanegan different from the rest is his love for the game, his complete trust in his coaching staff and his connection with the players that keeps everyone on the same page.

“Coach Swanegan absolutely trusts his assistant coaches and his players,” said Lancers returning guard Kenta Lima. “That makes us believe in him, and stay together.”

Swanegan is focused on making sure that athletes meet the team goals and also achieve their own goals of gaining eyes from large universities.

“Coach Swanegan is great because he works hard with his team to prepare us for what we are going to face,” sophomore center Faruk Oyalade said . “He has this relationship with us that helps build players’ self esteem and confidence.”

Swanegan, in his eighth season at Pasadena City College, has surpassed his 200th career victory as a coach this past season and gives most of the credit to the program at PCC. From the conflicts while coaching his son to the first appearance in the postseason during his tenure, the coach is focused and looking for precision on the court.

“Our goal is to get to the playoffs and win the conference,” Swanegan said. “It’s going to be the same play, same hustle, and same enthusiasm.”

During the first half hour of try-outs, there was a lot of intensity and competition. At times, Swanegan would appear to be in the zone deciding in his head about his next move. It’s more than just a great shot or speed on his team–an athlete has to have the grades to match so they can accept a scholarship if it gets offered to them.

This summer, Coach Swanegan has been hard at work.

“I was here the whole summer. We practiced. We had a class that practiced three days a week,” Swanegan said. “I always tell the players you get a jump in the summer time because you had 12 weeks [to prepare] while they have only two.”

When asked about types of players he looks for, he said “all of the above.” Swanegan looks for hard working players, leadership ability, players who show up ready to play their hearts out, and players who are willing to play as a team.

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