CHEYENNE – Brian Ortmeier is heading into unfamiliar territory.

He spent the past four seasons building Laramie County Community College’s women’s basketball program from the ground up. Prior to coming to Cheyenne, Ortmeier spent two seasons rebuilding the women’s team at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

The next stop in his coaching career is at a well-established program.

Ortmeier is leaving LCCC on June 1 to assume the reins at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

“This job takes me a lot closer to my family,” Ortmeier said. “It’s only about three hours from where I grew up. That was the first thing I was looking at.

“Iowa Central is also a great school. It has 23 sports that have won 45 national championships, it has a lot of tradition, and gets a lot of support from the community. They also have phenomenal facilities. It was the total package.”

Ortmeier grew up in Dodge, Nebraska, which is more than seven hours from Cheyenne. Ortmeier succeeds Kelly Kruger at Iowa Central. Kruger stepped down earlier this year after four seasons with the Tritons. They were 17-14 this past season.

“Building a program has its rewards for coaches, one of which is other colleges seek you out,” LCCC interim athletics director Cindy Henning said in a release. “(Ortmeier) set high expectations for the LCCC student-athletes on the court and in the classroom. He built a strong foundation for our next women’s coach to continue to move the program forward.”

LCCC went 24 years between women’s basketball teams. Ortmeier was hired to resurrect the team in 2016.

His Golden Eagles teams posted a 63-48 mark during his four seasons at the helm. LCCC posted 19 wins in 2019, and 18 this past season. It hosted a Region IX tournament game in 2019.

“I have been very fortunate to get the opportunity to come to LCCC and help restart and build the program,” Ortmeier said. “We have been very competitive. On and off the court, I’m really proud of the players who played for us at LCCC and helped the program grow.

“… It’s at a point now where it’s got to take that next step, and I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to see it all the way through. The program is in a really great spot, and I’m excited to see coach (Danielle) Rinaldo take it to the next level.”

Rinaldo – who has spent the past two seasons as Ortmeier’s assistant – was named LCCC’s interim coach Thursday.

“(Rinaldo) is familiar with the players, assisted with the incoming recruiting class, and knows the competitiveness of Region IX basketball,” Henning said in a release. “We’re excited to see her in this new role.”

Rinaldo will guide the Eagles for at least this coming season, LCCC interim athletics director Cynthia Henning said. The school will conduct a national search for its next coach starting late this year so athletes can be involved in the search process.

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.

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