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Pearson named new men's basketball coach for Carroll College

Dan Pearson
Posted at 3:33 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 17:35:55-04

(Editor's note: Carroll College Athletics release.)

HELENA — Carroll College athletic director Charlie Gross has announced the hiring of Dan Pearson as head coach of the Saints men's basketball team.

Pearson becomes the 29th head coach in Carroll program history, replacing Ryan Lundgren, who resigned his post last month after one season.

“I am very excited about Dan returning to Carroll with his direct ties to our proud history and culture.” said Gross. “From his time serving as an assistant at Carroll through his current position (in the Danish league), the success of the programs he has coached is impressive.

“The style of basketball he is accustomed to having his teams play will be exciting for our team members and our fans. Dan's formal training in servant leadership will be key to our mission of developing the whole student-athlete.”

A native of Billings and a graduate of Central Catholic High School, Pearson is a 2013 Carroll grad who was a three-year player on the men’s basketball team before joining the coaching ranks as an assistant under former Carroll coach Carson Cunningham.

“My family and I are thrilled to be returning to Carroll College.” said Pearson. “During my time both as a player and on staff with Dr. Cunningham, Helena truly became home for me. After being away for the past eight years, the opportunity to return and set our feet down in this community was one that we jumped at.

“I am beyond grateful for the experience that I have had growing abroad, but am more excited to be able to build a culture that Carroll and the greater Helena community can be proud of. It’s a great day to be a Fighting Saint!”

Currently, Pearson is the head Coach of Team FOG Naestved, a professional team in Denmark. His team is in the championship series of the nation’s top league, Danish Basketligaen, and Pearson will coach out the remainder of the season before arriving in Helena.

Dan Pearson
Dan Pearson

Pearson has enjoyed success at numerous stops in the European professional basketball scene over the past three seasons. He has a record of 43-22. Twice he was named Danish Basketligaen coach of the month, and he was recently named the 2023-2024 Danish Basketligaen regular season coach of the year following his team’s 2024 Danish Cup championship.

In addition to his current role as with Team FOG Naestved, he is an assistant women’s basketball coach for the Netherlands National Team, a qualifier for EuroBasket 2025. Given the alignment with future seasons, Pearson will still be attending training and competitions with the program in person.

Prior to his time in Denmark, Pearson was an assistant coach at Jena Science City, a German Pro A league team, as well as head coach of the Reading Rockets, an NBL Division I team in the United Kingdom.

While he was coaching the Rockets, he also headed up the top academy and club team for the program, competing in England’s Elite Academy Basketball League and England’s U18 Premier League.

From 2016 to 2021, Pearson was an assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Calgary, where he was instrumental in recruiting, individual skill development, and game preparation. In 2018 the Dinos won the USport Canadian National Championship.

During the 2020-21 season, USports canceled competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Pearson worked as a special assistant for Cunningham at NCAA Division I Incarnate Word.

Following a three-year career on the court for the Fighting Saints, Pearson assisted Cunningham for three additional seasons, including the 2016 season in which Carroll advanced to the NAIA national quarterfinals.

Pearson graduated from Carroll in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education — also serving as class Vice President, and received his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2017.

Upon completion of the Danish Basketligaen Championship, Pearson will arrive on campus for a formal introductory press conference to be announced at a later date.