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After two years as a varsity assistant Jason Mumm has been named the new Cowboy head basketball coach

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Jason MummFor a young basketball coach, Jason Mumm has an impressive resume.

After playing basketball at Treasure Valley Community College and then at Eastern Oregon University, Mumm began his coaching career in Vale.

After three years at Vale, including two as the head coach, Mumm moved to La Pine, where he was the head coach for a season.

Now a science teacher at Crook County High School, Mumm has spent the last two years as a varsity assistant coach.

Now, he is taking over the reins as Crook County's next head boys basketball coach.

"I always felt like if we had someone who could grow the program and take it to a higher level, that would be mission accomplished for me," said former varsity coach Darin Kessi, who recently resigned as head coach. "I'm comfortable in recognizing that Jason has the ability to take it to another level beyond what I was able to do. I told Jason he is going to use me as he sees fit. I will be there to support him however I can."

Mumm takes over a program that finished with a 9-13 record a year ago but that has earned play-in games the previous two years.

"I'm really excited," Mumm said. "I've been a part of the program for a couple of years now, and I'm excited to get going and kind of take over."

Mumm added that he expects to build on what Kessi has already accomplished.

"I want to continue with what coach Kessi has brought the program to, which is being really competitive throughout the state going forward," Mumm said. "I told somebody the other day I want to just take it and change a couple of things and use some things that we have already done since I have been here, to keep it where it is at and grow it. I want to eventually see us be a team that is consistently in the state tournament. We don't have anything up on the wall in the gym yet, and that's a goal that we have had for a couple of years in the program."

Mumm said that he expects to utilize more pick and rolls than in previous years and expects the team to get out in transition more than in the past.

Other than that, he doesn't expect to have any major changes.

Mumm added that the key to sustaining a successful program is developing a strong youth program, something that he says both Kessi and Jeff Lowenbach, who was the head coach prior to Kessi and is currently the Cowboy JV coach, have both already started.

"I am pretty lucky to take over a program that is really strong," Mumm said. "Coach Kessi and coach Lowenbach have done a great job with the youth program, so keeping those relationships and building even stronger relationships with those groups is key. The big-picture, long-term goal is to make it so from fifth grade all the way through we know what system we are in so that we are not rebuilding, we are just reloading year after year."

He added that even though he hopes to implement a program where every basketball player in the school district is playing in the same program, that flexibility will still be a key since, unlike college, coaches can't recruit, so they need to be able to adjust to the players that they have.

"We need to know what system we are in but also have flexibility so that if we ever have a 6-10 guy come through, I need to be the kind of guy that can adjust around that."

Mumm said that the team has already been going to open gyms and that he has a full schedule of games planned for both the varsity and JV teams in June.

"We have a full schedule in the month of June, and we are going to hold a youth camp here at the high school to try to start that development with the younger group," Mumm said. "We are going to go hard in the month of June and then guys are going to need time to rest before we jump in in November. I'm excited to get things rolling."

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