By Dylan Wilhelm • Of the News-Register • 

Linfield's Rosenberg suspended

News-Register file photo##Shanan Rosenberg, seen here talking to an official during a 2018 game, has been suspended by Linfield, and he may be on his way out after 10 seasons at the helm.
News-Register file photo##Shanan Rosenberg, seen here talking to an official during a 2018 game, has been suspended by Linfield, and he may be on his way out after 10 seasons at the helm.

Linfield has suspended head men’s basketball coach Shanan Rosenberg following a verbal interaction with a fan during the team’s season finale at Whitman on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Those familiar with the situation told the News-Register that Rosenberg responded to a heckling fan in a moment of frustration during the loss.

The Wildcats would have still had a chance to earn a spot in the Northwest Conference tournament with a win. Linfield led at the half, but frustration mounted in the second half as Whitman took the lead and pulled away.

Sources with knowledge of the situation say that Dr. Garry Killgore, Linfield’s director of athletics, informed Rosenberg of the suspension on Monday after the team returned to McMinnville.

On Friday, in a meeting with Killgore, Rosenberg was given 21 days to seek legal counsel or sign the necessary paperwork to part ways with the school.

Rosenberg, contacted by phone over the weekend, declined to comment on the record. University officials have declined to explain the reasons for the suspension, stating it is a personnel matter.

Players and parents tried to reach Killgore by phone and email throughout last week. When they were unsuccessful in connecting with him remotely, about a dozen student-athletes went to campus on Friday, with hopes of speaking to him in person in his office, in the Health, Human Performance and Athletics Complex on campus, after Killgore’s meeting with Rosenberg.

The group was declined the opportunity to speak with him at that time, citing that a human resources employee told them that Killgore could not speak on a “personnel matter.”

Scott Nelson, Linfield associate vice president for strategic communications, said in an email that Killgore was never informed that anyone in that group wanted to speak with him.

In the midst of the meeting, the director of campus security arrived, and the group asked if they were being ordered to leave. According to Nelson, the guard told them no, they were only there to make sure there were no problems, and no action was taken other than being present.

The group made its way toward University President Miles K. Davis’ office. As the group left the Athletics building, security followed them. Davis was in a board meeting, but stepped out to talk with the group in a separate room after being informed that they wished to speak with him.

The meeting lasted about 45 minutes before the group left without further incident, according to Nelson.

University officials stated that there will be no further comment until after there has been a resolution.

Rosenberg has been the head men’s coach at Linfield since 2013, amassing a 126-114 record, including two conference titles in 2020 and 2022.

The ‘Cats had a down season this year, going 10-15 and finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2016. They went 18-7 in the 2021-22 season and 10-2 in the shortened 2020-21 season.


Joel R

Thanks for this article, Dylan.
In paragraph five it says "Rosenberg was given 21 days to seek counsel or sign the necessary paperwork to part ways with the school." By counsel, do you mean counseling (ie anger management type thing) or counsel as in an attorney??


There is no better coach or human being than Coach Rose. He cares about his athletes, the program and the community at large. He works to build good people, not just good players. He does the same for his in service camps for local students and the positivity he brings. We 100% support Shanan and stand with him!

Joel R

I'm hoping Dylan will find out exactly what coach did to the fan. Did he physically touch him? Just verbal? It seems to me like it would have to be pretty serious if they're considering firing him over it.
He's probably a good guy, but if he can't keep him self under control to the point that he goes after a fan....? In my opinion it's hard to blame Linfield for not wanting him to represent their school.


Replying to Joel R…. It could also be that the AD was looking for a reason. Could it be a personal issue between the two, without more info, hard to say? Interesting you have an opinion on Kilgore’s decision while asking for the details of what occurred. Transparency is foreign to Linfield based on events over the last few years….. and at least $1 million. And the outcry from players and parents towards this action by Kilgore is also quite telling about how they feel about their coach.

Dylan Wilhelm

Clarification - By counsel, we meant legal counsel, not counseling or any type of anger management. We will follow along with this story as it develops in the coming days and weeks and provides updates as they come.


Coach Rose is not only a fantastic coach whom all players and parents love and support, but he is an even better human being with roots deep in this community! He and his team have served countless hours volunteering and supporting local non-profits. At a time when Linfield NEEDS good publicity & effective and respected leadership, they (Kilgore & Miles) do something like this! So reckless and obvious to SO many in our community! This is absolutely horrible.

Joel R

I'm really hoping we get to hear what exactly he did to the fan. I think that's the critically important part of this story. Until we know what exactly he did there is no way to know if his firing is justified.
Did he physically attack the fan? Did he briefly tell the fan to shut up? Did he excessively and profanely berate the fan and get caught up in a heated back and forth for an extended period of time?
Obviously their must be plenty of witnesses and probably video evidence.
I feel for the guy. From the comments on here it sounds like he's been a good coach and has a loyal following.
It's a good lesson for all of us. One really bad moment of letting ourselves get out of control (if that's what he did) can undo years of effort and good work. We can lose a stellar reputation in a flash.


I wonder if something is amiss in Linfield land again. If so, Davis better step in before this also damages Linfield's reputation. Admittedly the details provided in the article are few. But what I did ascertain was that 1) Killgore made a decision quickly without much (if any) investigation; and 2) has not made himself (or refused) to hear from individuals with first-hand knowledge of the situation. It does seem possible that he has a personal issue with Coach Rose and is using this as an excuse - at the potential detriment of the athletes and the school. It could be that Killgore needs to go instead of the coach.


Jane, you are 100% spot on! I have heard from Parents, players and former players. Very Toxic athletic environment. There will be a lot more coming out on this.

Matt S

Coach Rose is fantastic human being as well as one the of the best coaches I have ever competed against. Like all great coaches he is very knowledgeable about the game, but what really separates him from others is how much he cares for his players and how he prepares them for life after they graduate. To see him be treated this way is disappointing considering he took a program that was down and built them into conference champions. His players have always been top notch men of character that the community can call their own and the University can be proud of. As huge fan of the Men’s Basketball program this news is heart breaking and makes me sick to my stomach. There is no better person to lead the Men’s Basketball Program then Shanan Rosenberg. I hope the Linfield Administration will come to their senses and rethink this unfortunate decision.


So… is the coach fired?….If so, why call it a suspension?
Termination seems pretty harsh for a single verbal altercation with a fan, but without any history of previous disciplinary actions ( if any) it’s hard to know.
Given the schools recent history, one would think the HR Dept would be extremely careful before signing off on this kind of decision.

Kevin D

There isn't a better isn't a better man or Coach than Shanan Rosenberg. Linfield couldn't have a better person representing their school and firing him would be a HUGE mistake! Without growing up with a Father, Coach Rose was it for me. He taught me a lot about basketball but more about life and how to be good man. Current parents should be fighting as hard as possible to keep Coach Rose as the coach because as a parent myself, there isn't a better man I would want my son to be around on a daily basis teaching him about life. Coach Rose consistently still checks on my family and I regularly even though I haven't played for him for many years which demonstrates how much he cares about his players so I truly pray that Linfield has a change of heart and reinstates Coach Rose immediately because he is good man and doesn't deserve this kind of treatment


Coach Rose is the best basketball coach and most impactful person I have encountered. His genuine love for his players and their families is deeply felt by all who have played for him. I played for coach Rose over 10 years ago but his influence on me has shaped the man, coach, and father I am today. There is no better role model and leader for Linfield University's Basketball Program. I will continue support Coach Rose, his players, and their families in this ridiculous situation.


Too often these days, people in power over react to minor incidents and fire a great person with an overwhelming positive impact in their job.
I played for Coach Rose over 15 years ago and remain friends with him to this day. I know first hand of the impact he has on his players. He creates a family culture on all his team which is invaluable today, especially with many broken homes and single parent households. He's acted as a father figure to many, who didn't have a positive male role model in their lives.
Basketball is an emotional game with many twists and turns throughout a game and season. Coach Rose's emotion and passion for his team and players is one of his best characteristics.
I've had many coaches over my playing career and I can assure you they are not all the same. Linfield does not want to lose a great mentor and leader of young men like Coach Rose!


Why all the secrecy? What institution would continue maintaining a history of subterfuge? The outcome ends up costing a fortune in settlements along with a bum reputation. Very creepy.

Josue Gil-Fernandez

There is no better leader of men then Coach Rose. Everything I am building as an Athletic Director at my current school can be traced back to Coach Rose and his life lessons. It's not a Coach you are wrongfully firing, this is a Leader of Men for generations now. The fact that I am reading comments from different generations of players speaks volume of the impact Coach Rose has made on all of us now starting careers and families. We stand behind our Coach in this terrible situation.


Hi Dylan – I realize the situation is unfolding, and limited information is currently able to be published, however do you have insight into what Linfield would be suggesting he seek legal counsel for? Legal counsel to prove his actions were/weren’t something? Legal counsel to ensure he is held responsible rather than the school? Legal counsel to advise how he/Linfield should handle the situation? Legal counsel to determine if he is to receive court-ordered anger management courses to fulfill his coaching contract with the school? It just seems so odd for an employer to give an ultimatum of “you’re fired if you don’t hire a lawyer on your own dime” without any rationale.

I am not at all asking of anything to do with what happened/his long-term character/his short-term behavior. It’s just beyond odd for an employer to demand an employee lawyer up to save their job.


I hope Linfield leadership listens to outpouring of support for Coach Rosenberg from past players and the McMinnville community who respects and appreciates him.

Joel R

Any updates, Dylan?
The fact that his former players love him and vouch for his excellent character is great. But when it comes right down to it, I think there are really two questions that get straight to the heart of the matter.
1. What did he say/do to the fan?
2. Was he already on probation for other stuff?


From the March 5 Sunday Oregonian
During a Feb. 18 game against Whitman College, Rosenberg responded to a parent in the stands who was shouting, “Put the seniors in! Put the seniors in!” in the final minute of the team’s final game of the season.

According to other parents sitting behind the team’s bench, the coach turned back and said something like, “Look, if you want to talk to me, talk to me after the game.”

Some people apparently interpreted Rosenberg’s retort as a threat, while others attending the game said he appeared to make clear that he wasn’t going to deal with the criticism during the game. The team’s senior night had been held during a prior Linfield game.

According to Linfield University’s Scott Nelson, an associate vice president for communications, a fan’s video of the Feb. 18 game showed an “angry confrontation” that lasted more than a minute where Rosenberg, at one point, is “gesturing angrily into the crowd” and yelled, “come outside after the game, sir. Let’s have some words then.” Nelson said one of the team’s players put a hand on the coach’s arm, “apparently attempting to defuse the situation.”

Two days later, on Feb. 20, Rosenberg sent a text message to some parents, alerting he’d been suspended and couldn’t talk further about it.


Having reviewed available information, it seems that the encounter reflected upon human fragility on all sides. Coach Rose was frustrated and wants to win, parent wants child to play and win, and Linfield AD wants both to be quiet and win the game. Everybody has overracted!
However, to fire or suspend Coach Rose seems excessive! A wonderful coach, mentor, father and citizen of McMinnville seems excessive! Linfield and McMinnville are part of our family, and like family WE FORGIVE. Everybody!


There are many comments here that Davis needs to see. I encourage those with first hand experience with Coach Rose to write directly to Davis. For Linfield and our community to lose him would be terrible.


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