“It was a very good and motivational speech. It makes me think about my own golf career and what I need to change in order to become a better golfer. Be aware of your goals and know where you want to go.”

Janci Spoo, Kinesiology


“I really enjoyed the presentation because it showed that mental toughness goes way beyond sport. Life needs mental toughness even more so than sport.”

Garrett Ramstead, Sport Administration



The Mentality of a Winner

Travis Naught

Author/Guest Speaker

Brandon Rinta

Head Men's Basketball Coach

Central Washington University

About Travis:

Travis Laurence Naught is an author who happens to be a quadriplegic wheelchair user. He spent 10 years working with Eastern Washington University Men's Basketball (2001-11) while earning his undergraduate degree in psychology and completing graduate courses in sports psychology.


The Virgin Journals (ASD Publishing, 2012) and Still Journaling (e-book, 2013) are full-length volumes of his confessional style poetry. Individual poems and stories by Travis have appeared widely in print and online.


Classrooms from Grades 3 through University have invited him into speak about topics on leadership, poetry, and what it means to live with a complete physical disability. His willingness to speak publicly on personal, private matters combines well with his written craft and has helped him earn a modicum of success in slam poetry. Travis toured the Northwest in 2014 and has been a Spokane Poetry Slam finalist in 2013, 2014, and 2015.


Check out to sample his writing and find more information about Travis.

About Brandon:

In his fourth season at the helm of the Lewis-Clark College men’s basketball team, Brandon Rinta led the Warriors to their third consecutive season of 20-plus wins, and solidified LCSC as the team to beat in the Frontier Conference.  For the second time in Rinta’s tenure the Warriors won the Frontier Conference regular season title, while capturing their first tournament title since 2008. With a 25-8 record, LCSC earned its 10th trip to the NAIA National Championship and finished the season as the 23rd best team in the NAIA.

LCSC's 22-10 season in 2013-2014 comes on the heels of arguably the finest season in program history in 2012-13, when Rinta led the Warriors to a 26-6 record and the program's first Frontier Conference championship and national berth since 2008.  Following that season, Rinta, a native of Chehalis, Wash., was named the 2013 recipient of the Don Meyer Award as the NAIA's top men's basketball coach. 


Rinta has strong ties in the Pacific Northwest, having spent five years as an assistant coach at Eastern Washington, During his five years at EWU, he helped form the most successful teams in the program’s history. Those teams competed in the postseason every year, made it to the Big Sky Championship game three times, won the Big Sky Conference title once, won EWU’s first Big Sky Tournament Championship, and participated in the NIT and NCAA tournaments for the first time in school history.


Rinta then spent the next five years as the top assistant and associate head coach at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, a position he held when he was hired by LCSC. In his time at NNU, he helped guide the Crusaders to their most successful seasons since the program moved to NCAA Division II. During his five years there, NNU tied the record for most wins in a season, claimed its first postseason win, and earned its first national and regional ranking. The team also posted the highest team GPA in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference three out of those five years.


Rinta played two seasons at Yakima Valley Community College. During his second year, the team was co-coached by legendary former Central Washington coach Dean Nicholson and Leon Rice, the current Boise State head coach and former Gonzaga. He earned first-team all-NWAACC honors when he averaged 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He was the team MVP, captain and Most Inspirational his final season there.


Rinta then transferred to CWU for his final two seasons. He started 53 games at CWU at guard and helped the team to a 39-17 mark during those seasons. In both years, he served as co-captain and won the team’s Hustle Award. He also won the Most Inspirational Award his senior year.  He averaged 8.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 steals at CWU. He helped the team to the NCAA Division II West Regional both seasons and the Pacific West Conference regular-season title as a junior.


Rinta earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Fitness Education from CWU and a Master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Eastern Washington. Rinta, his wife Deanna, their daughter Kendall and son Shea reside in Lewiston.


-Bio and Photo courtesy of Lewis-Clark State College Athletics