Concordia-Chicago has appointed Lauren Rosengarden as head coach for its women's basketball program. Rosengarden succeeds Rusty Rogers, who has announced his retirement after coaching the team for the past four seasons.
"I am blessed and thrilled for the opportunity and ready to dive in," said Rosengarden. "The position, the timing and location all came together as a perfect next step for me. I'm grateful to (CUC director of athletics) Pete Gnan and the administration for their confidence in me."
Rosengarden expects to help the Cougars develop into excellent basketball players and excellent students, and they will have their new coach as a perfect example. As Lauren Martin, Rosengarden was a standout student-athlete at Johnsburg High School, McHenry Community College and North Park University. At Johnsburg, she was a two-time all-conference and all-area player while leading the team to two conference titles. She help lead the McHenry team to a pair of Skyway Conference titles before transferring to North Park, where she was a part of the last Vikings' team to make the CCIW tournament. In all three places, Rosengarden made her mark as a student, regularly making dean's lists and conference all-academic teams. She graduated cum laude from North Park in 2006 with a BA in communications (media studies).
A 12-year coaching career followed graduation, beginning with one year as an assistant coach at Judson (Ill.). Rosengarden then took an assistant's job at Regina Dominican High School for two seasons under Illinois Basketball Coaches' Association Hall of Fame coach Jim Russo. In 2010, Regina Dominican advanced to the Class 3A championship game of the Sweet 16 before falling to Johnsburg,
Rosengarden's coaching career also includes five years with the AAU's Illinois Lady Thunder, based in River Forest, from 2009 to 2013. In 2012, Rosengarden returned to North Park as head assistant coach for Amanda Crockett, where she remained until taking the CUC position.
"I've been lucky to learn about coaching the game from so many over the years and thankful for the influence they will continue to have," says Rosengarden. When asked about the influences she will bring to the Cougars, Rosengarden promises that "we will play with a lot of energy, confidence and passion"
Along with the responsibilities of the women's basketball program, Rosengarden is looking forward to being part of Concordia-Chicago's commitment to servant leadership and making an impact in the community. Rosengarden's background is very similar, having participated in several projects with groups such as Special Olympics. In 2015, she and members of the North Park team traveled to the Dominican Republic for a missions trip that included community service projects during the day and basketball clinics for over 100 youths in the evening. "It's wonderful when your faith and career tied together can impact lives," says Rosengarden.
Rosengarden's tenure as Concordia-Chicago women's basketball coach will officially begin on Monday, March 19.