Michael Swanegan, the 14th men's basketball head coach in Pasadena City College history, enters his 14th season in charge of the Lancers in 2020-2021. Swanegan has 424 career victories in 31 years of coaching at the California Community College and prep levels. He has accumulated 263 college wins, 146 of those at PCC. He moved into second place behind PCC Hall of Famer George Terzian in all-time wins in Lancers men's basketball history.
In 2018-19, Swanegan coached the Lancers back to the postseason after a 5-year absence as PCC finished third in the South Coast Conference North Division and garnered the #14 seed. That allowed PCC to host its first playoff game in 15 seasons (2004). PCC was beaten by #17 Cuesta, but thet team's 17-12 turnaround season featured wins over both region's top seeds in Cerritos College and College of the Sequoias. The Lancers were paced by two All-SCC North selections in forwards Jordan Simpson, who was second in the state in blocked shots per game, and Chris Blount, the team's leading scorer and rebounder.
In 2013-14, Swanegan had his best Lancers team as that season was a return to the playoffs for the college after a 10-year absence. The 21-10 Lancers were seeded 12th in the SoCal region and then made the regionals biggest noise by upsetting No. 5 seed Saddleback.
PCC's season ended with a Round 3 loss to CCCAA State Championship semifinalist Chaffey, but the Lancers earned enormous respect for its turnaround performance. Leading PCC was All-State selection and forward Taj Spencer. Spencer went on to earn a scholarship at Cal Baptist University after being named PCC Men's Athlete of the Year for all sports in the '13-14 season.
The Lancers won the Imperial Valley Tournament title, took second in the Ventura Tournament and picked up the consolation title of the Santa Barbara Tournament. During a stretch from December 13 through January 24, PCC won 11 of 12 games, including a 6-game winning streak.
In 2012-13, the coach had the pleasure of coaching his son, Mike Swanegan, to become an All-South Coast Conference North Division selection. The younger Swanegan led the Lancers in scoring and was the conference overall leader in 3-point baskets. He also became the 68th member of PCC's 500-Points Club.
Swanegan, 59, came to PCC after eight seasons directing SCC North Division rival Mt. San Antonio College. At Mt. SAC, Swanegan coached the Mounties to Co-SCC titles in 2002 and 2005.
Swanegan guided the development of All-SCC guard/forward Givon Crump, who was named PCC Men's Athlete of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year. Crump led the SCC in scoring at 20.3 points per game (seventh in the state). The high-scoring Crump accepted a scholarship to attend Cal State Dominguez Hills after first signing with Cal State Fullerton. The Lancers went 16-12 and finished in second place in the division, but were left out of the SoCal Regionals.
On Feb. 19, 2014, Swanegan reached his milestone 200th career collegiate victory as the Lancers defeated LA Trade Tech, 80-68. On Dec. 8, 2015, he reached his 100th Lancers win when PCC beat Pierce, 71-69, on a buzzer beating final basket.
PCC accomplished a 22-win season in 2008-2009, defeating eventual state finalist Saddleback in tourney play. The team was amazingly was left out of the postseason tournament despite finishing in the top 15 in state RPI. The Lancers' disappointment was extended when the school later learned that South Coast Conference North Division champion Los Angeles City College forfeited its title and two wins against the Lancers due to using ineligible players.
The Lancers were a second place finisher at the season-opening Ventura Tournament, captured the consolation title at the Palomar Tournament, and took third at the College of the Canyons Tournament.
Swanegan has the distinction of coaching two state-scoring leaders including PCC's Harold Cleveland in '07-08. Although the team didn't finish high in the SCC standings, the Lancers did come up with a highlight victory when it upset then state No. 1-ranked LA Trade Tech in PCC's home finale.
Accumulating 117 victories at Mt. SAC, Swanegan’s most successful campaign was the team’s 21-6 mark in the 2004-2005 season. Swanegan’s team was ranked No. 4 in Southern California going into the state playoffs, but was upset by Moorpark in the first round. The team’s biggest win was a 23-point victory over LA City that allowed Mt. SAC to finish tied for the division’s best record at 8-2.
In 2002-2003, Swanegan coached the Mounties to a 22-win season. His teams advanced to the state playoffs seven of his eight seasons, making it to the second round twice.
Before coaching at Mt. SAC (1999-2007), Swanegan had a successful 10-year prep coaching career at three high schools, Duarte, Rosemead and Rowland. He compiled a 161-85 winning record (.654 percentage), including a run of five consecutive league championship teams at Duarte High (1994-1998). His Duarte boys' teams advanced as far as the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals three times.
He began his head coaching career at Rosemead in 1989-90 and coached the team to a 19-5 record and a league title his second and final season there. He directed Duarte from 1991-1998 and then coached one season at Rowland (18-9 record in 1998-1999) before moving on to the California Community College ranks.
“I’ve always felt that coaching men’s basketball at Pasadena City College is one of the greatest jobs in the state,” Swanegan said upon his hiring. "I have a good relationship with the area high school coaches and I’m going to work at getting some of the top local players to choose PCC, rather than leave the area.”
At Mt. SAC, Swanegan coached All-State talents and former SCC MVPs in Marquis Poole (2002, Idaho State, All-Big Sky Conference) and Antonio Sykes (2005), plus 2005-2006 state leading scorer Rishawn Norwood. Twenty-one of Swanegan’s players have moved on to receive scholarships at the Division I and II level, including Lancers Elliott Berry at UC Riverside and Corey Caston at Cal State San Bernardino.
A native of Camden, Arkansas, Swanegan attended Little Rock Central High, playing for a state basketball champion team as a junior in 1974-75. After playing two seasons at Paris Junior College in Texas, he competed two more collegiate seasons at Langston University in Oklahoma. He was team captain his senior season.
Swanegan earned his bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation at Langston, and later completed his master's in education from Azusa Pacific University.
Swanegan lives in Chino Hills with his wife Linda.