After three years coaching in the Midwest, Richland native returns to Washington for first Division I opportunity
It seems almost like fate.
After coaching for more than seven years under two former Eastern assistants, Steve Lowe follows suit as the new assistant women's basketball coach at Eastern Washington University, announced Tuesday (July 5) by head coach Wendy Schuller.
"We are very excited to have Steve join the Eagle family," said Schuller. "He is a tireless worker and teaches the game with great energy and enthusiasm. His ties to the state of Washington will provide an invaluable resource for us in recruiting, and based on his track record, I expect him to be a great fit on our staff."
Lowe comes to Eastern from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., where he was the assistant to Aggie head coach Tom Webb, who coincidentally spent four years as an EWU assistant from 2004-08. But it doesn't stop there. Lowe's very first collegiate coaching position was as an assistant to his direct Eastern predecessor, Cheryl Sorenson.
Lowe and Sorenson coached together for three years at Bellevue Community College before Sorenson was hired at Eastern in 2007. After her departure, Lowe took over as head coach of the Bulldogs for one season before heading to Cameron. Now, three years later, Lowe will return to his native state to again fill the shoes once worn by Sorenson.
"I am thrilled that Coach Schuller has given me this opportunity," said Lowe. "I look forward to working with her and the entire staff, as I continue to expand my knowledge of the game."
"I am especially excited to be back in the state of Washington," added Lowe. "I have so many ties here within the high school, AAU and junior college circuits. I saw this job at Eastern as a great opportunity for me to use those resources to help out and improve the program in any way I can."
Eastern will be Lowe's first taste of Division I, but after four years coaching at a JC and three at a Division II school, it seemed the timing was perfect for Lowe to take his next step.
"I think coaching is coaching, and I have truly enjoyed the job at every level," said Lowe. "But being part of a Division I program has definitely been a dream of mine. You get to recruit a different kind of athlete and player at this level, and I am really excited about that opportunity."
In Lowe's most recent position as assistant coach at Cameron, Lowe was involved in all aspects of the program, including practice plans, recruiting, budget management, travel arrangements, scouting and film breakdown, strength and conditioning and community outreach.
During his tenure, Lowe helped the Aggies double their total wins from just six in 2008-09 to 13 in 2010-11. He coached five All-Lone Star Conference selections, and had two different recruits honored as LSC Newcomers of the Year.
In addition to his influence on the court, Lowe also helped to dramatically improve the academic success and community involvement of the Aggies. In his three years, the team grade point average improved from a 2.5 to 3.4, and the community service hours logged by the CU women's basketball team grew from 197 in the 2008-09 school year to 295 in 2010-11.
Similar to his contributions at Cameron, Lowe was also instrumental in turning around the Bellevue Community College women's basketball program. In just three years, Lowe and Sorenson took the team from a 4-22 mark to a 26-5 powerhouse. He helped lead the squad to a second-place finish in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) in 2007 and two North Division regular-season titles.
From 2004-08, he coached five All-Region first-team selections, one second-team honoree, four All-NWAACC Tournament players and four academic all-stars.
Before teaming up with Sorenson at BCC, Lowe was the head girls' basketball coach at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Wash. He also spent more than seven years in the classroom as a special education teacher in the Lake Washington, Issaquah and Richland school districts.
Lowe is a 2001 graduate of Central Washington University, where he received his bachelor's degree in special education. He went on to earn a master's in technological education from Walden University in Baltimore, Md.
He is married to Brianne Lowe (formerly Smedley), and the couple is expecting their first child this September.