ANCHORAGE – Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball assistant coach Ryan Orton has been named the next head coach at Western Wyoming Community College, the Rock Springs, Wyo., school announced Friday.

“It is with both sadness and excitement that we say goodbye to Coach Orton,” said Seawolves head coach Rusty Osborne. “He has been an integral part of our success over the last three years. We will miss his contributions, both on the floor and in the community, and I personally will miss our day-to-day working relationship.

Osborne’s top assistant since 2009, Orton helped UAA to a 64-27 record during his tenure, including consecutive NCAA Tournament Second Round berths in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He was also largely responsible for the recruitment of three Alaska high school players-of-the-year, 2012 Div. II Bulletin National Player of the Year Taylor Rohde, and numerous top junior-college and other prep standouts.

“I am very thankful to Dr. Steve Cobb and Coach Osborne for helping me get back into coaching after a season away,” Orton said. “My time at UAA and with Seawolf basketball was very rewarding both personally and professionally.  As I enter a new chapter I will certainly miss working with all the great people associated with Seawolf Athletics.  I also want to thank the players for their efforts toward the success we have had both on and off the floor. I enjoyed working with great kids who will continue to keep Seawolf basketball at a high level of excellence and a group the fans can be proud of.”

At WWCC, Orton inherits a Mustangs program that finished 23-9 last season, advancing to the NJCAA Region IX playoffs.

"We are genuinely excited that Coach Orton has the opportunity now to lead his own program and progress in his career,” Osborne added. “He has shown the ability as not only a good strategic coach, but one who has represented us with class and professionalism throughout the State of Alaska.  I have no doubt that he is going to be a success in all his future endeavors and bring these same attributes to Western Wyoming.  I look forward to watching him from afar and helping him in any way possible.”