Welcome to Sonora, land of Rob Hoyt and Claim Jumper Nation. Columbia College is the third smallest junior college in the state but there is something special going on in Tuolmne County. Hoyt has his Sonora based school are one of the most consistent programs at putting together wins as of late. The last two seasons the Claim Jumpers are 47-12 and were one game away from making an elite eight appearance in the 2019-2020 season. It has started with the culture as Hoyt has brought in players that have helped put Sonora on the map. “Gritty, toughness, and relationships within our program are the most important things,” said Hoyt. The style of play has helped the Jumpers be one of the better teams in Northern California and consistently find themselves towards the top of the Central Valley Conference.
The winning has not only brought success but it has helped recruit talent around the country. When Hoyt first got to Columbia, it wasn’t a very easy task to bring in players to his program. “The first three years it was tough, but success has helped us recruit,” said Hoyt. The head coach has a knack for finding talent and winning games has helped the recruiting process.
The consistency of the program has brought interest from four year coaches as well as the Jumpers move players on from their program. “Our job as coaches is to be a bridge from high school to the four year level,” said Hoyt. “You want to win games but it is secondary in our profession,” added Hoyt. The 9th year head coach has not had trouble moving guys on to the four year level with all the winning going on in the program. “Our number one goal is to put guys in position to be successful on and off the court,” he added. As for goals within his program, Hoyt wants his players to be the best they can be on and off the court. Time will tell what this season will bring, but it is apparent that Coach Hoyt and the Claim Jumpers have put Sonora on the map.