“G’day mate, let’s chinwag.”
That lingo might soon be spewed from the mouths of Payson High School boys basketball players if their new coach decides to introduce them to the language from Down Under.
The coach should know the slang well, he’s a former professional Australian basketball player.
Jared Swanson was named weeks ago the new coach replacing Kenny Hayes who resigned to accept a football coaching position at Dakota State University.
Hayes was at the school for four years and the past two seasons was named East Region Coach of the Year. Two years ago, he led the Longhorns to the state championship game where they were defeated by Estrella Foothills.
Swanson will also teach social studies at Payson High School, as Hayes did.
Swanson describes himself as “a well-organized educator with an enthusiastic commitment to student development.”
He also believes his time in Australia will be an asset, “having lived in a foreign country for four years has the great ability to draw on past worldly experiences.”
The new coach arrives in Payson with a rich background in basketball having played four years in Australia as well as on the NCAA Division III level, in junior college and high school.
In 2008, Swanson played in the Southern Peninsula Basketball Association in Australia and was named the league MVP and an all-star.
Prior to that, he was an all-star in both the Shepparton and Warrnambool Basketball Associations.
In college from 2001 to 2003, the new coach was an all-conference first team selection at Moorhead, Minn.
From 1998 to 2000, he earned junior college All-American honors at Fergus Falls Community College in Minnesota.
At Morris Area High School he starred in basketball, football and track and field earning all-state laurels in each sport.
His coaching experience includes a stint as a head coach in the Country Basketball League in Shepparaton, Victoria, Australia.
“I coached this team during my ABA off-season and it was comprised of high school- and college-age players,” Swanson said.
“The level of competition is comparable to junior college in the United States.”
He also was the Junior Basketball Development officer in Australia and head coach of an under-18 Australian squad that reached the Victorian State Championships.
After leaving Australia in 2008, he took an assistant varsity coaching position at Heritage High School in Vancouver, Wash.
The team improved to 14-11 and won the district championship after being 0-20 the previous season.
At Payson High, Swanson will also serve as an assistant to newly appointed football coach Matt Mayo.
“I’ll be working with the receivers,” he said.
He has football coaching experience, having served as a varsity assistant in 2003 at Hawley High School in Minnesota.
Swanson arrived in Payson two weeks after making a 23-hour drive from Vancouver. He immediately set out to get to know his players and introduce them to his program.
Among his first duties was to take freshmen, jayvee and varsity players to Scottsdale Christian for off-season games.
He’s also set forth a conditioning program that includes plenty of speed work on Longhorn track.
PHS principal Roy Sandoval, who was watching one of the first speed workouts, lauded the new coach.
“He’s got them working hard right away, I like that,” he said.
Swanson returned to his home state in midweek to visit family, but will return soon to restart the summer program which includes open gym and weight training.
Swanson said he enjoyed his one-year stay in Vancouver, but when he learned of the coaching opening in Payson, he jumped at the chance.
“I wanted to be a head coach and I like the warm weather,” he said.
After earning a BA in social studies education from Concordia College, Swanson student-taught geography and world history at Hawley High School. In 2008, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver.