Ulland 'super excited' about return to JC
Jamestown College athletic director Lawrie Paulson didn't need much time to find a new women's basketball coach. And when Greg Ulland was offered the job, the 2001 JC grad didn't need much time to make a decision. "I've had ambitions of becoming ...
Jamestown College athletic director Lawrie Paulson didn't need much time to find a new women's basketball coach.
And when Greg Ulland was offered the job, the 2001 JC grad didn't need much time to make a decision.
"I've had ambitions of becoming a head coach and when this opportunity became available, it really was a no-brainer," said Ulland, a Strasburg, N.D., native former all-conference wide receiver for the Jimmies. "I'm super excited. This is something I've dreamed about and for it to become a reality is really special. I'm fired up to get started."
For a 32-year-old, Ulland's résumé is sparkling.
After serving under Paulson as an assistant from 2000-02, he's had stops at the University of Mary, Mayville State and the last four as one of Gene Roebuck's assistants at UND.
"Anybody who knows Greg, or who has been around Greg, understands how easy of a decision this was for us," said Paulson, who gave Ulland his first coaching gig in 2000. "He's a quality guy who loves Jamestown College. On pretty much every level this was a perfect fit."
Ulland inherits a program coming off a 26-win season and its first win ever at the NAIA national tournament. Most of the key players from that team graduated, however. But Ulland has already gotten a glimpse of a handful of the returning players and the entire team comes to town next week for a team camp. He also hopes to lure a player or two more in recruiting.
"Obviously, they had a very successful season last year. From what I've seen from the players we have coming back I'm excited about what they can do," he said. "Obviously there's an adjustment phase there, but the program is in good shape and we just want to keep things going in the right direction."
Ulland succeeds Mark Wiest, who took over for Paulson -- all three of whom are JC grads. Wiest went 105-69 in his six seasons. He resigned last week to become the principal at St. John's Academy.
Assistant coach Dan Hornung will remain on board.
"Between Greg and Dan the women's basketball program is in very good hands," Paulson said.
Ulland moved from Jamestown College to Mary in 2003. From there he went to UND where he was a student assistant in the football program under Dale Lennon. In 2005 he took an assistant coaching job at Mayville State, before Roebuck brought him back to Grand Forks in 2006.
"I've had the opportunity to work for great coaches and great people," Ulland said. "I'm really fortunate to have had the experiences I've had. I think it's prepared me extremely well for this opportunity."
His future in the profession was probably sealed early. The son of Brad Ulland, who has spent 20-plus years coaching girls' basketball -- mostly in Strasburg -- planted the coaching-seed early.
"I never saw myself working outside of athletics," Ulland said. "My experience at Jamestown College certainly solidified that. It was a really great place for me and to get to come back is an opportunity for me and my family."
Ulland and his wife Brandie and 2-year-old daughter Mea have a house to sell in Grand Forks, but have already been browsing online for a home here.
"Jamestown is a great community and that extends to the college where I always felt like it was a big-time family atmosphere," he said.
On the court, at least stylistically, there won't be a major change.
Ulland plans to run the 4-out and 1-in offense, like the one Roebuck has used successfully through the years, and the same style Wiest ran last season.
The pace will be fast on both ends, pushing the ball up the floor offensively and pressuring full court defensively.
Above that he says the program will be built on two pillars.
"Hard work and communication," he said. "I've had the pleasure to work for and play for a lot of great coaches, and all of them were great in how they treated people and how they built relationships.
"To get the chance to go back to Jamestown College and continue that is just really exciting."
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org