AZUSA, Calif. – Azusa Pacific women’s basketball interim head coach Matt Elofson had the interim tagged removed from his title and was named Azusa Pacific’s fifth head coach for women’s basketball, Athletic Director Bill Odell announced today.
Elofson, who spent 3 years as an assistant to former coach Danielle Jorgenson from 1999-2001, took over the reigns of the program on an interim basis this past season and guided the Cougars to a 25-8 mark and a regular-season Golden State Athletic Conference co-championship.
“Matt has shown as an assistant and then as the interim coach that he relates well to female student-athlete,” said Odell. “He had a successful season last year both on and off the court and is more than ready to take over on a permanent basis.”
He replaces Jorgenson, who resigns after taking a leave of absence prior to last season. In 8 seasons at the helm, Jorgenson compiled a 159-87 mark, which places her second on Azusa Pacific all-time coaching victories list, trailing only Azusa Pacific Hall of Famer Sue Hebel’s 284 wins in 17 seasons.
“Matt is an amazing man of God, who cares about the entire person when he coaches,” said Jorgenson. “He is extremely wise and demonstrates incredible strength. He knows the game and will make an outstanding addition to the department. You know what you are getting with Matt. A dedicated, hard working and Christ-centered man.”
The 34-year-old Elofson compiled the most wins by an Azusa Pacific first-year head coach and guided the Cougars to their third straight GSAC Tournament championship, defeating regular-season co-champion Fresno Pacific, 73-62, to become the first GSAC basketball program, men’s or women’s, to win 3 straight tournaments. The Cougars also advanced to their third straight NAIA Tournament appearance, falling in the first round to Brescia (Ky.), 53-52.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to its challenges,” said Elofson. “However, with losing 7 seniors, we have a lot of work to do, and we are now in reloading mode. It’s my hope to put together a team that will come together as a unit and continue at the current pace we have established in the conference and also get us a step further on the national level.”
Elofson graduated from Southeastern College in Florida in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He lettered 4 years in basketball and served as a team captain during his senior campaign. In 1992, Elofson earned a master’s degree in youth ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, and in 1999 he obtained a second master’s degree in biblical studies. He is currently working on his doctorate degree in practical theology at Fuller. He will also teach classes in Azusa Pacific’s Haggard School of Theology.