The position left by the passing of the late Tony Costello has been filled.
Las Positas College athletic director Dyan Miller announced on Thursday Sept. 5, she had hired a new men’s basketball coach: Lon Rork.
“I’m incredibly excited to be here,” Rork said. “I’m humbled that I was given the opportunity to be the head coach.”
Rork spent the last seven years as an assistant coach for the Diablo Valley College men’s basketball team. There he served under Steve Coccimiglio, a staple in Bay Area basketball. Coccimiglio was very supportive of his former assistant coach.
“Las Positas is an attractive school in an attractive area,” Coccimiglio said. “It’s going to be hard following tony, because tony was a phenomenal coach and a phenomenol person, but if anyone can do it Lon can do it.”
But Rork’s coaching roots go back to the University of Dallas, where in 2000 he started out as the head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis team. He also coached the men’s and women’s cross country team. All of this was required for Rork to become a full-time staff member and be an assistant coach for the basketball team.
In 2002, Rork left Dallas for Moraga, taking over as the director of basketball operations at Saint Mary’s College. He stayed at Saint Mary’s, under noted Division I coach Randy Bennett, until 2006. Rork said it was with the Gaels he saw how to build a program.
His time at DVC assured him he’d found the right setting to establish his career.
“Becoming a head coach has always been my goal,” Rork said. “Once I got to the junior college level, I knew this was the level I wanted to be at.”
One of Rork’s reasons the community college level was perfect for him is a core value familiar to the LPC athletics community: Family. Being a coach means that you travel a lot, and Rork didn’t want to miss any of the key moments in his daughters’ lives.
Just like Costello, Rork also places importance on his student’s ability to do well in the classroom as well as off the court. His philosophies are very similar to those of the Costello, but it’s clear, Rork is his own man.
With his first official week underway, Miller, said she can’t wait to see the impact Rork has on his players.
“We think we made a great choice,” Miller said. “The cream rises to the top. We think Lon is going to pick up where Tony left off. I think he’s going to enrich the program.”