Just weeks after the departure of longtime women’s basketball coach Janis Beal to College of Idaho, Northwest College has hired Rocky Mountain College assistant coach Camden Levett to take the reins of the Lady Trappers’ program.
Levett has been named the interim head coach for the 2018-19 season.
“We are excited to have Camden as part of our coaching staff,” said NWC President Stefani Hicswa. “He comes highly recommended and we are eager for him to begin.”
This will be Levett’s first foray into head coaching at the collegiate level. In his year at Rocky Mountain, the Battlin’ Bears broke the school record for wins in a season. Prior to that, Levett spent two seasons as an assistant at Central Methodist University. During his tenure, the Lady Eagles racked up an impressive 50-15 record, averaging nearly 80 points a game and advancing to the national tournament both years. Levett’s also coached at the high school level, at Grandview High School and Vista Peak Prep, both in his hometown of Aurora, Colorado.
Levett credits his stint with Rocky Mountain for introducing him to Region IX basketball.
“Along the way, I met some NJCAA Region IX coaches; we’re always recruiting heavily out of there,” Levett said. “When the NWC job opened up, I caught wind of it and contacted Coach Beal. She’s been very helpful, and it kind of went from there.”
Levett did his homework on the Lady Trappers program, working with Beal and talking with men’s head coach Brian Erickson as well.
“Everybody had a lot of great things to say about Northwest, the community of Powell,” Levett said. “And you could just see the success that Coach Beal had last year — 25 wins and the girls are also taking care of their grades.”
“I came down from Billings for a visit and just really liked what I saw, as a campus and a community,” he said. “It’s a good spot; you can win ball games there.”
With just four players returning from last year’s squad, Levett began reaching out to former coaches he’s worked with to begin the recruiting process, including taking a trip to Washington last week.
“It’s going to be a challenge this first year; it’s kind of late in the game for recruiting,” he said. “But it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to. I’ve learned from some great coaches so far, and that started from my high school days. I want to mold myself into the best head coach I can be.”
Levett has met a couple of his returning players, including Lovell’s Shelby Wardell, who was part of the interview process.
“I think she [Wardell] asked me about 10 different questions,” Levett said with a chuckle. “So it was great meeting her. With only four returners, they want to continue the success they had last year under Coach Beal, so it was great meeting her and gauging what expectations are.”
Asked what fans can expect from his style of coaching, Levett said he thinks the community of Powell will enjoy watching Lady Trappers basketball next season.
“We’re going to be up-tempo. It will be great fun to watch,” he said. “Good teams will turn opposing teams over; great teams will turn them over and score the basketball. That’s what we want to do.”
“The main thing to get out of this program is pacing,” Levett added. “We’re going to be fast. We’re a little under-sized right now, we have some smaller guards. But trust me, they’re gonna be quick and they’re gonna be scrappy.”
Many coaches hate having the dreaded “interim” label slapped in front of their name, but Levett sees it as one more challenge he’s ready to meet.
“It doesn’t bother me, really,” Levett said of the distinction. “The college needed to get a coach in right away. They need to fill a team, get some girls on the roster. I don’t mind it.”
“As a coach, you’re always competing,” he added. “I think that kind of takes over. Basically, it’s a one-year interview for me. I’m all for it, doesn’t bother me one bit.”