Troy Ersland has coached basketball for nearly two decades at the high school and collegiate levels.
After back-to-back winning seasons at Class 1A Janesville, Ersland is making the jump to Iowa’s largest classification.
Clinton activities director Justin Remington said Monday night the River Kings have hired Ersland as the replacement for Chris Powers who resigned earlier this spring.
Ersland said there were two major selling points about the position.
“The tradition of their program interested me initially, and then the chance to move up and coach at the 4A level in a really good conference,” Ersland said. “From the interview process, I was impressed with the commitment from the administration towards basketball and athletics in general.”
Ersland will teach in the district, but his position for the 2018-19 school year has not been finalized.
He brings a wealth of coaching experience to the River Kings.
Besides head coaching stints at Waterloo Columbus and Janesville, Ersland was an assistant college coach at Dakota State University, Luther College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the University of Wyoming.
“Troy’s experience, discipline, competitiveness and high expectations will greatly benefit the program,” Remington said.
Ersland admits it’ll take time to get Clinton on a championship level. The River Kings were 9-13 two seasons ago and finished 3-20 this past winter.
Clinton does return a pair of starters in LJ Henderson and Bret Myli.
“From what I’ve seen on tape and via statistics, we’ve got a lot of work to do on the fundamentals,” Ersland said. “We need get in the gym and help kids develop their skills.
“They don’t have a youth program to speak of, so we really need to get that up and going. I really like the skill development side of coaching. In my experience, people want to help. You just have to ask them and find the right people who want to help in the community."
Ersland had conversations with three current players during the interview process. He said they’re all eager to be coached and to improve.
“They were saying all the right things, so when we start open gyms in the next couple of weeks it will be proven,” Ersland said.
Ersland plans to commute back and forth between Clinton and the Waterloo area for the next couple of months. He’ll move to Clinton in late July or early August.