UAA Athletics

UAA sports notebook: Ryan Orton promoted to associate head coach for men’s basketball; Seawolves track signs international sprinter

UAA's Ryan Orton

After nearly a decade with the program between two different stints, Ryan Orton has been promoted to the role of associate head coach of the University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team.

In his first stint with the team, Orton made his most significant impact in recruiting.

He spent five years as the head coach of the Western Wyoming Community College Mustangs in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Orton led the program to winning seasons in his last three seasons at the helm, including seasons of 21 and 22 wins as well as NJCAA Region IX playoff berths in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Orton returned to the UAA program in 2017 and secured commitments from five future All-GNAC honorees. The Seawolves finished 20-14 and were Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament runner-ups in 2019-20 and followed it up with a 15-9 record and a GNAC Tournament semifinals bid in 2021-22.

“It was an easy decision to recommend that Ryan be named associate head coach,” said head coach Rusty Osborne in a statement. “He is extremely deserving of this recognition and everyone associated with our program understands the contributions he has made during his tenure. In addition to being an outstanding on-court coach and our recruiting coordinator, Ryan has taken on added responsibilities over the last few years in the areas of academic advising and community outreach, with impressive results.”

Seawolves land international sprinter

The UAA track and field team added a top sprinter last week, announcing Maximilian Kremser signed his national letter of intent to compete with the program for the 2023 season.

He qualified for the World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, which was run this month.

Earlier this year, Kremser ran a personal best of 46.93 in the prelims of the German Championships to advance to the finals and ran 46.74 in the finals to finish sixth and qualify for the world championship relay pool.

“When I started recruiting Max he had already run some incredible times, but for him to go on a tear like he has the past couple of months has us all ecstatic,” said associate head coach Ray Shadowens in a statement. “It seems like the brighter the lights, the better he runs, and that’s something you can’t always coach and something we need more of. And for him to get a taste of what it’s like to be at the world stage, is a great reward for all his efforts.”

His addition to the program gives the Seawolves a pair of track standouts from Germany, joining hurdler Josh Wagner, who won a pair of GNAC titles last season and finished ninth at the Division II National Track and Field Championships. Kremser hails from Solingen and Wagner is from Niederahr, which are 80 miles apart.

JUCO transfer signs with UAA

The men’s basketball program added another recruit to its 2022-2023 crop when Osborne announced the signing of Jack Chlumak to a scholarship.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder spent the last two seasons at junior college program Central Wyoming, where he appeared in 38 career games. In 2021-22, the Newberg, Oregon native averaged 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game, shooting 49 percent from the field, 46 percent on three-pointers and 73 percent on free throws.

“We are very excited to welcome Jack into Seawolf Nation,” Osborne said in a statement. “He is another talented and versatile wing player who can play multiple positions for us. He is an excellent shooter, but is also a very good playmaker with court vision and a high basketball IQ. Defensively, he gives us another bigger body to go against the bigger wings in our conference. He has been well coached in both high school and in junior college, and should transition easily into our program and the GNAC. With three years remaining, he also adds balance to our recruiting classes.”

He joins a recruiting class that features two other former JUCO standouts in Jaron Williams and Dathan Satchell.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.