GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence athletic department is getting back one of its own. Former assistant men’s basketball coach JC Isakson is back with the Argos after taking a year off to raise his newborn baby girl, BlaykLinn. The only difference now is that he is coming back as the women’s assistant coach under Bill Himmelberg.
“It was fun because working with the men’s program, they did such a great job and he did such a great job and good work with, when I got the chance to get him, I couldn’t pass up,” Himmelberg explained.
Isakson is returning to familiar territory, not only by being a part of the Argos family again, but he has worked with much of the women’s team while he was the men’s assistant coach.
“There’s a familiarity here. I’ve seen these girls. I’ve been with Parker Esary, I’ve been with Emilee Maldonado. I know this talent level here,” Isakson said. “So we know what we have coming back and it’s a very, very, very talented group.”
The talented group referenced includes two all-Americans in Esary and Maldonado, who led the Argos to the NAIA national tournament appearance last year. Prior to the abbreviated 2020-2021 season, the Argos were also defending Frontier Conference champions.
“Skill development, that’s what he does with them everyday, where he makes his money is in the gym building those relationships,” Himmelberg voiced.
Along with studying film and recruiting talent, building relationships and developing student-athletes on the court has become the staple of what makes Isakson valuable. Before taking the women’s assistant coaching job, he coached under legendary Argos men’s head coach Steve Keller. Isakson also played for and coached with Keller at Montana Western prior to relocating to Great Falls to be with the Argos.
“He’s been my basketball mentor as a player and as a coach. So much of what I’ve developed to this day comes from him,” Isakson stated. “Coach Keller has two rules; don’t be late and hate to lose, and those were the same two rules I had when I played for him and every stop I’ve had along the way.”
Isakson’s first official day back was July 1 and he has been off to a busy start. Recently, he took two recruiting trips to Louisville and Chicago to eye potential talent for future rosters. He also has been balancing his new work environment with the daily duties of watching his daughter BlaykLinn. So far, he’s been up to the challenge of both.