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Success is a year-round pursuit

Sidelines

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon in the middle of another enjoyable Oregon summer, and Pacific's men's basketball coach is hunkered down in his office.

Jason Lowery sits in his desk chair, remote in hand, shuttling back and forth over hours of game tape. It's not just any game tape, though. He's watching what his Boxers did in his first season at the helm.

He takes a few minutes to watch a particular play, moving the tape back and forth, analyzing what made this particular set work against one of the Northwest Conference's top teams.

Lowery is taking the time on a Sunday because he wants Pacific to be among those top teams and it's a yearlong pursuit to make that happen.

'I'm a competitive person,' says the 30-year-old Lowery, 'and we're not yet established, obviously. I want to get to the point where we are winning Northwest Conference titles and be in the position where the Jim Hayfords (Whitworth coach) and Gordie James (Willamette coach) are every year - consistently among the top three or four teams.

'I expect to be there sooner than most people think.'

Lowery took the Boxer men much further than anyone expected in his first year. Inheriting a team that rostered only two players above 6-foot-2, Lowery doubled Pacific's win total from five games in 2005 to 10 games in 2006, and he nearly scored a dramatic December upset against Southern Oregon, then ranked No. 1 nationally at the NAIA level.

But there is still a lot of work to do, which is why Lowery is at the Pacific Athletic Center on a Sunday afternoon. The solace of his office gives him a chance to concentrate, taking notes on why some plays worked and others broke down. The goal, Lowery said, is to build a system around his players rather than fitting players into a set regimen of offenses.

While 90 percent of the tape Lowery watches is of the Boxers, he is also taking note of what his opponents ran.

'We steal a lot from other teams,' he admits. 'There's a lot of good coaches in this league and we're all thieves.'

Lowery is not just a weekend warrior, either. He spends many of his weekdays in the office, watching more tape and making contacts with recruits and his current players. When he is not in Forest Grove, Lowery is out at summer leagues and camps, looking for more talent and evaluating those already committed to Pacific.

The long hours, however, doesn't mean that Lowery is another lonely coach whose sport is his whole life. The father of two children, Lowery brings his family to the office whenever he can. Daughters Jayla and Che are well known to the athletic staff, and Lowery's wife, Melissa, is taking classes at Pacific toward and integrated media degree.

All three, along with other members of the Lowery extended family, are regular fixtures at games, making the pursuit of roundball excellence a family affair.

'They're very understanding, but very demanding as well,' said Lowery. 'Sometimes, though, it's good for me to get out of their hair for a couple hours.'

So back to the office Jason Lowery goes, with the work ethic to make Pacific a contender sooner than most people think.

Blake Timm is the sports information director at Pacific University. He spends almost as many hours in the office as Jason Lowery.