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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State basketball admired for coaching prestige

Chico State Wildcats assistant coaches Mark Darnall and Thomas Ammon coaching the Wildcats basketball team in Acker Gym. Photo Courtesy: Chico State Sports Information Desk.

Despite losing two coaches from the 2016-2017 season, Chico State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Greg Clink is excited to gain two new coaches that he hopes will help build a bright future for the team.

“It is always hard with a brand new staff because there are no other assistants around to show them how we do things, but Mark and Thomas are both very smart, organized and hard working so they learned quick,” said Clink.

Chico State men’s basketball team gained two assistant coaches this year, Thomas Ammon and Mark Darnall.

“We’re excited about the group we have coming back and we’re trying to build now every year for our future here at Chico to continue the success Coach Clink has had,” said Mark Darnall, lead assistant coach at Chico State.

Darnall brings over six years of experience to the basketball program, having coached previously at UC Davis and University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

During most of his time at UC Davis, Darnall served as director of operations. He was offered the position of assistant coach and helped lead the Aggies to victory in the 2014-15 Big West Championship.

“That was one of my proudest accomplishments,” Darnall said.

After accepting the position of lead assistant coach back in his home state of Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Darnall had a tough season.

“I was able to recruit some kids, we battled with injuries and they were able to get those kids back. They ended up winning the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this year,” Darnall said. “I’m just so happy for the kids I coached and the kids that came into the program even though I wasn’t there.”

After Wisconsin it was back to California for Darnall who accepted his current position of head assistant coach here at Chico State.

Ammon previously coached for four years at Fresno City College. When getting ready for the next step in his coaching career, Ammon said that Chico was one of the first places that he looked because of what he had heard about the program from others and how special it was.

Under Clink’s leadership, there has been many coaches from his coaching staff to move on to other coaching positions at multiple other colleges around the nation, a testament to Coach Clink. “I am very proud of our assistant coaches that have gone on to other positions,” said Clink.

Clink treats his team like a family, which was very welcoming to Darnall and Ammon coming in to Chico.

Ammon has already learned a lot from Clink, from the way he recruits to the way he conducts his team. “He hasn’t had the success he’s had because of luck, it’s because he’s a great coach,” Ammon said.

“I think he does appreciate that I can challenge (the team) in different ways and bring experiences from the place that I’ve been at to the table,” Darnall said. “He’s really receptive to the challenge to always allow the program to continue to grow in order to (get) better. “

Courtney Chapman can be reached at [email protected] or @courtneychaps on Twitter.

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