One legacy ends, another begins


East Texan Photos/ Gwiwon Jason Nam

BJ Laudermilk, Staff Reporter

For the first time since the turn of the century, the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team has hired a new head coach.

Jaret von Rosenberg, an assistant head coach at the University of Hartford, will become the fourth head coach of the Lions since they joined Division II, and the 21st overall. He served as an assistant under Sam Walker for two seasons before leaving for Connecticut.

“What a privilege I have to lead this program,” an emotional von Rosenberg said. “I’ve been entrusted with a great opportunity, a challenge, and a responsibility that I take very seriously.”

Rosenberg takes over for Walker, who after 17 seasons and 285 wins leaves the position to serve the university in a new role, serving under President Keck as the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement.

“This university has both framed and made possible my professional and private life,” Walker said. “I have been offered and accepted an exceptional new challenge to serve this wonderful institution, engaging not only our future and current students, but also our alumni in new and exciting ways. I could not be more invigorated for this new chapter.”

The search for a new head coach was a brief but comprehensive one, lasting 12 days between the departure of Walker and the hiring of Rosenberg.

“Any good athletic director has a short list [of potential replacement candidates], and Jaret was on the short list from the very beginning,” A&M-Commerce Athletic Director Tim McMurray said. “We interviewed sitting head coaches, and Jaret stood out among the rest. Sam and I were laughing at the press conference because Jaret started out emotional and didn’t get off the ground quickly, and then you started talking about recruiting and basketball and making a difference in those kids’ lives and you couldn’t slow him down.”

University President Dr. Ray M. Keck III was proud of the hire and felt that the future of the program was in good hands.

“[He] will take the torch from Sam Walker and make a difference in the lives of our talented student-athletes associated with our men’s basketball program,” Keck said. “From the time I met Jaret, I learned he was proud to be a Lion. He will take that enthusiasm and institutional knowledge into this new era of Lion basketball, and I believe we have some very special days ahead of us.”

Rosenberg finished up his speech by repeating his commitment to the program and his commitment to the surrounding communities.

            I will work every day to make this university and community proud of our program and its members,” he said. “Sarah, Jaxon, and I are so blessed to have true friends in the City of Commerce, and can’t wait to become more ingrained in the community and raise our family here.”