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Men's Basketball Coaches

Corey Symons

Corey Symons

Head Coach
Phone: (208) 769-3352
Email: Corey.Symons@nic.edu
Office: GYM-131

Corey Symons returns to North Idaho College for his 15th season with the men’s program, and his 5th as the head coach. In four seasons he holds a record of 106-23 and has led the Cardinals to two conference championships as well as the first post season championship in program history. In 2015-2016 he led the Cardinals to the only undefeated regular season in school history and Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) history. Last season the Cardinals finished the season with a 25-8 record and their first NWAC title. Under the direction of coach Symons, the Cardinals have brought home 2 league titles as well as a NWAC title, and has 5 straight seasons ranked in the top 25 pre-season national polls. The Cardinals had 3 former players play in the NBA summer league with 2 of them signing NBA contracts.

Prior to his promotion, Symons finished his 10th season as an assistant coach with the NIC staff. Symons played a major role in recruiting 50+ student-athletes that have continued on to 4-year institutions. His recruits helped NIC earn an NJCAA No. 1 national ranking, and a consistent spot in the national polls. During Symons tenure as an assistant coach NIC averaged 22 wins a year, including three SWAC championships. He was also involved in academic advising of student-athletes and NIC men’s basketball team has traditionally attained a cumulative GPA higher than the overall student body population. Men’s Basketball has achieved Team Academic All-American status twice in the last four years with a 3.0 tem GPA. These are the only times this has been accomplished in the history of the program.

Prior to NIC, Symons was an assistant high school coach for five seasons. He coached one season at Bellevue (WA) Christian High School, and four at Post Falls (ID) High School.

Symons redshirted at NIC in 1993 under legendary coach Rolly Williams. He then went on to play at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, OR and Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash. Symons averaged 16 points per game in his final season and was team captain at Northwest University, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Management and Administration. After college, Symons played for a select international team in Europe. He is currently pursuing his masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University Irvine and is on track to finish this December.

Symons is a North Idaho native, and a graduate of Falls Christian Academy. He is married to Nicole (Nipp) Symons who is also highly involved in the North Idaho community. Nicole is starting her 16th year in education at Lakes Middle School. She is also an active AAU coach as well as overseeing multiple North Idaho Elite AAU teams. Together they are proud parents of Madison (14) and Caden (12).

“Corey is known as a great recruiter, but he is also an experienced coach” said Al Williams, NIC athletic director. “He has a good feel for the game as a former college player and he understands how to develop athletes. Corey is a hard worker and was instrumental in recruiting most of the current roster. He has earned the chance to guide our men’s basketball program, and I believe he is ready for the challenge.”



George Swanson

George Swanson

Assistant Coach

George Swanson is in his 5th season as an assistant coach with the NIC basketball program. “Coach G” has been instrumental in the success of the program for the last four seasons. He is the recruiting coordinator, and is highly involved in the success of the student/athletes.

Swanson came to the NIC after spending two seasons as a head coach at Reardan (WA) High School and Emerald City Basketball Academy. Swanson was also an assistant at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Before going to HSU, Swanson was the Head Coach at Grays Harbor College where he led them to the NWAACC tournament and a #1 ranking in the NWAACC poll. Swanson also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Pierce College in the NWAACC.

Swanson played at Grays Harbor College where he helped his team to an NWAACC 6th place finish. He also played for Northwest University where they won the school's only national championship and where he is inducted in the school Hall of Fame.

He earned his bachelor's degree in health science from Eastern Washington University in 2006. Swanson has two boys, Jayce (12) and Myles (7) and a daughter, Jaide (20).

“Coach G brings a lot of experience to our staff. We are excited to have him in our program and look forward to him helping our players develop,” said Coach Symons. “Coach G has a reputation in this business for working hard and making sure his players are put in places to become successful.”



Josh Whitaker

Josh Whitaker

Assistant Coach

Josh Whitaker is starting his 1st year on staff with the Cardinals after spending 3 years on staff with the Coeur d’ Alene Vikings boys program. Coach Whitaker is a well know face in the local basketball community and has had a lot of success coaching Idaho AAU basketball. Coach Whitaker has a great defensive mind and will spend most of his time focusing on the defensive side of the ball. He is a North Idaho College alumni, and is excited to be with the Cardinals.

“Josh brings a tough mindset to our staff and program. He really understands the game and loves to push our guys on the defensive end. We are excited to add Josh to our staff and look forward to him help us improve all aspects of our team,” Coach Symons.



Russ Giles

Russ Giles

Assistant Coach

Russ Giles is starting his 2nd year on staff with the Cardinals after spending 20 years with the Coeur d’ Alene Vikings basketball programs. Coach Giles brings a high level of coaching as well as an unbelievable understanding of the game. Coach Giles also brings 17+ years of experience with the NBA and NCAA. Russ was a part of 10 NBA All-Star weekends as well as 7 NCAA Final 4 tournaments. Coach Russ also spent 6 years with the Marine Corps from 1987-1992.

“We are excited to have Russ join our program. I have known him for many years and have watched him do an exceptional job with his Viking teams. Coach Russ brings a high basketball IQ to our program. Coach will assist in day to day operations. “ - Coach Corey Symons



Richard Haugen

Richard Haugen

Voice of the Cardinals

That familiar voice you hear on the NIC website for live game broadcasts of Cardinal Athletics belongs to the incomparable Dick Haugen! Formerly the Regional Manager of Sales & Broadcasting for Idahosports.com, Haugen has one of the most recognizable voices in northern Idaho after serving in the radio and television broadcasting industry for nearly 40 years. Haugen brings basketball, wrestling and volleyball games from Christianson Gymnasium into your home via the internet, on the NIC athletics department live webstream. He also follows the basketball teams on the road for exciting NWAC basketball, and select Cardinal athletic post season events. Check out the webstream schedule on www.nic.edu/athletics for more details. Log in and follow the Cardinals!!



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