UW-River Falls assistant men's basketball coach and head women's golf coach Lance Westberg has resigned from his roles at UWRF to take the helm of the Houghton College (N.Y) men's basketball program.
Westberg, a former player, assistant coach and teacher at River Falls High School, has been an assistant men's basketball coach at UWRF the past five seasons and was named the 2018 WIAC Golf Coach of the Year.
"I would like to thank coach Westberg for his commitment to Falcon athletics over the past five years," UWRF Director of Athletics Crystal Lanning said. "He has played a big role in the recent success of both our men's basketball and women's golf programs, and he will be missed by the campus and River Falls communities. I truly wish him all the best as he pursues a new professional opportunity."
Houghton Director of Athletics Matthew Webb said Westberg will become the 10th head men's basketball coach in the 53-year history of the NCAA Division III program.
"We are thrilled to have Coach Westberg join our staff," said Webb. "His success as a recruiter, and his experience and familiarity within NCAA D3 basketball have prepared him well for this position. Coach Westberg is a great fit for the Houghton family and is passionate about investing in young men as well as continuing to develop our basketball program."
During his five years at UWRF, Westberg helped the Falcons reach three WIAC championship games while compiling a record of 83-53. The 2016-17 team finished 25-4, won the conference title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament. That team was also honored as the WIAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
In addition to his basketball responsibilities, Westberg has served as the head coach of the UWRF women's golf team since 2015. During his time at the helm, he increased the team roster size from six to 13, boosted the team GPA from 2.9 to 3.67, and was named WIAC Coach of the Year in 2018.
"I am very grateful and excited to become the next head men's basketball coach at Houghton College," Westberg said. "I would like to thank President Mullen, Dr. Webb, and the rest of the search committee for their efforts, accommodations, and for welcoming me into the Highlander family. I am looking forward to working with the good people on campus at Houghton College and to lead this group of young men as we move the needle forward in the men's basketball program."
Houghton finished the 2018-19 season with a record of 4-21.
Prior to his time at UWRF, Westberg spent a season as an assistant coach at his alma mater River Falls High School and also spent three seasons as the head coach and director of the Minnesota-based Triple Threat Club team, elevating the U15-U17 team to a ranking in the Northstar Hoops Report.
Westberg played four years at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul where he was a part of three regular season UMAC championships, three conference tournament championships, three NCAA National Tournament appearances from 2010-13, and a National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship in 2010. Individually, he earned honorable mention to the All-UMAC team during the 2012-13 season along with being named the conference championship MVP, and the UMAC Individual Sportsmanship Award winner.
Westberg graduated from the University of Northwestern with a bachelor's degree in educational studies. He continued his education with a post-baccalaureate degree in math education at UW-River Falls in 2015 and recently completed his master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University-Irvine.
A 2009 River Falls High School graduate, he earned All-Big Rivers Conference and All-Northwest honors while serving as team captain of the Wildcat basketball team.
In addition to his coaching experience, Westberg has taught high school math in the River Falls School District since 2015.