Mike Rohn enters his fifth year as an assistant coach/head recruiting coordinator with the University of Colorado men's basketball coaching staff.
“One of the steadiest people I have ever worked with in my life,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Mike is the ultimate grinder, works extremely hard and he’s a guy that thinks, a forward-thinker. He’s ready to be a head coach. He has all the tools in what it takes to be a head coach, and is invaluable to our staff, and to me.”
Rohn is an integral part of the coaching staff that has re-energized the basketball program to national prominence and continues to do so each and every year. Over his four years in Boulder, Rohn has helped the Buffaloes register 92 victories, the most in any four-year span in school history.
In addition to four-straight seasons of post-season play, four-straight seasons of 20 or more wins, and three-consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, all are school-firsts in the 111-year history of the program.
Last season the trend of success continued with 23 wins, the third-most victories in school history. Rohn helped the Buffaloes cap another successful season with an NCAA Tournament berth. His assistance pushed CU into a third place finish in the final Pac-12 Conference standings, the highest conference placing in 18 years.
In 2011-12 (24 wins) and 2012-13 (21 wins), Rohn and the Buffs earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in 50 years (1961-62 & 1962-63). The 2011-12 campaign, CU’s first year in the Pac-12 Conference and at the inaugural conference tournament, the Buffs became just the 10th team in the nation to win at least four games in four days to capture the tournament title (a CU first since winning the Big 8 in 1968-69). Rohn also helped CU earn its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002-03 where the Buffs would go on to upset No. 6 UNLV in the second round.
During Rohn’s first two years with the Buffs, he helped the team set the tone of success with back-to-back 24-win campaigns of 2010-11 and 2011-12, tying for the highest number of wins ever in a season. Also during his initial season, CU advanced to the NIT semifinals in New York City, the school’s last year in the Big 12 Conference.
Rohn has also aided the Buffs with a defend-the-home-court-mentality into a dominant home court advantage, making the Coors Events Center one of the most feared arenas to play in registering 60 wins out of 69 games. The 60 victories is the best four-year home span of the program with an average of 15 home wins per season.
Throughout his coaching tenure in Boulder, Rohn has mentored a quartet of former CU student-athlete greats that have made the next step professionally in their basketball careers. Alec Burks (No. 12 overall, Utah Jazz, 2011) and Andre Roberson (No. 26 Overall, Minnesota Timberwolves, 2013 traded to Oklahoma City) were both drafted in the NBA Draft first round; Spencer Dinwiddie was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 2014 NBA Draft (second round, No. 38); and Cory Higgins played with the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2011-12 season. Burks also became CU’s second-ever lottery pick (Chauncey Billups).
Rohn has also coached a number of CU student-athletes to conference excellence. In CU’s first year of the Pac-12, Roberson (first team, All-Defensive, All-Tournament team), Carlon Brown (second team, tournament’s Most Outstanding Player), and Dinwiddie (freshman team) garnered all-Conference honors.
In year two of the conference, Roberson (first team, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Defensive team); Dinwiddie (first team) and Josh Scott (All-Freshman team) earned post-season accolades, and in year three, Scott continued CU’s prominence among the elite Pac-12 Conference players by being selected to the first team. Askia Booker was an honorable mention selection, as to, was Wesley Gordon to the honorable mention freshman team. Booker was also named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament team.
This past summer (August 2014), Rohn was the head coach the Athletes In Action team, a school-first for any CU assistant. AIA was comprised of CU sophomore Tre’Shaun Fletcher and other college basketball players from around the nation embarking on an eight-day Baltic tour of Russia, winning three of four games against professional competition. AIA is a worldwide Christian sports organization working with all levels of sports with the hope of having Christ-followers on every team, in every sport, in every nation.
Before arriving at CU, Rohn spent the previous three years as the director of basketball operations at Texas A&M (2007-2010) where he was part of the coaching staff that helped the Aggies to a trio of NCAA Tournament Round of 32 appearances. During those three years in College Station, the Aggies won 73 games, in addition to 28 Big 12 Conference games. A&M also led the conference in scoring defense (65.8 ppg.) for the first time in league history during the 2009-10 campaign.
At Wichita State, where Rohn spent seven years (2000-2007) as an assistant coach to Mark Turgeon, in addition with current CU assistant, Jean Prioleau, the Shockers engineered an impressive resume earning three-straight NIT trips (2003, 2004, 2005). During the 2005-06 season, the Shockers not only won their first Missouri Valley Conference championship in 19 years, they capped off a 26-9 record with a 2006 NCAA Tournament berth and a Sweet 16 appearance, a school-first in 18 years.
Rohn also helped coach fifth-year student-athlete Paul Miller capped off one of the best careers of any Shocker center by being named the MVC Player of the Year, the first Shocker to earn the award in 21 years, in addition to Jamar Howard (Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year).
Prior to Wichita State, Rohn served three seasons as head coach from 1996-2000 at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, where he built a 55-38 record and coached the Conquistadors to three consecutive state playoff appearances, including a 21-10 mark in 1999-2000. Rohn was also an assistant coach at Dodge City from 1993-96. In 1997, Dodge City was crowned the 1997 Jayhawk West Conference Champions.
Rohn was a graduate assistant coach at Fort Hays State (1991-1993) while earning a master’s degree in sports administration and coaching. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1990 from McPherson College, where he was a two-time all-conference selection. There he was named the league’s newcomer of the year as a junior and was the conference player of the year as a senior. He also was named McPherson’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1989.
He also served as an assistant coach at Colby Community College (1990-91) and at his alma mater, McPherson College (1989-1990). Rohn transferred to McPherson after playing two seasons at Dodge City Community College.
Rohn, and his wife, Stephanie, have two daughters, Raegen and Rylee.