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SOU Men's Basketball Coach Brian McDermott Embarks on Epic Trans America Trek

June 23, 2017
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Story by Southern Oregon Athletics

LA GRANDE, Ore. – The next eight weeks will look very different than in past years for Southern Oregon's Brian McDermott. The head men's basketball coach will begin a daunting journey by bicycle Saturday across the United States.

Along with SOU business professor Curt Bacon, the duo will begin by dipping their bike tires in the Pacific Ocean near Florence, Oregon on June 24 and will travel 3,300 miles with the goal of arriving in Charleston, South Carolina by August 26. Mark Siders, another SOU business professor, will drive the support vehicle with gear, food and other supplies needed along the route.

“We've been thinking about it for a number of years and finally decided we weren't getting any younger,” McDermott stated. “Might just be a case of old athletes trying to turn back the clock, but I've always thought it would be a more intimate way to see the country and get a feel for the different kinds of people that make up each region.”

The route will cut through the heartland of the U.S. as they hit parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina. They plan to ride between 6 a.m. and noon daily to beat the heat and hope to average at least 75 miles per day. In addition to the heat, the biggest concerns are the mountains in the west and east, and the wind and humidity in the Midwest.

McDermott and Bacon, both longtime riders, have been training since the second week of March. “We have had a lot of 60-mile days,” said McDermott. “We have had some 4-5 days in a row training for distance and endurance with our furthest day a 90-mile ride.” The trio will use hotels, staying with friends and campgrounds alone the way.

As a way to record the trip, McDermott will be posting updates often to his Facebook page. Click Here.

The 2017-18 basketball season will mark the 22nd at the helm of the Raiders for McDermott, who is the winningest coach in Raider men's hoops history and 9th among NAIA D II active coaches in wins.