Sales introduced as Rose men’s basketball coach | Rose Hulman Sports

Nick Sales described Rose-Hulman on Tuesday as “a very nice place, full of blue-collar people . . . great academically, but I know they care about the student-athlete experience.”

Those were a couple of things that attracted Sales to the Engineer campus. He was announced as the new men’s basketball coach at Rose on Monday and met with the press in Hulbert Arena on Tuesday.

Sales comes to Rose-Hulman after serving as associate head coach at NCAA Division III Marietta College in Ohio.

Sales served as a key part of a coaching staff that won seven of the last nine Ohio Athletic Conference regular season championships; reached seven NCAA Division III Tournaments; won three OAC Tournament championships; and reached the NCAA Division III Final Four in 2022.

“I would like to thank President Rob Coons, Athletic Director Ayanna Tweedy and the search committee for this phenomenal opportunity,” Sales was quoted in a press release. “My family and I are ecstatic about being a part of the Terre Haute community for years to come.”

He replaces Rusty Loyd, who resigned in the spring to become head coach at DePauw.

“It was a great opportunity for [Loyd],” Tweedy said Tuesday, “but I think we found a really good gem in coach Sales.”

Sales returns to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference by coming to Rose-Hulman. He was named HCAC Player of the Year, HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player and Honorable Mention NCAA Division III All-American as a standout player at Defiance in 2010. He told some of the media Tuesday that he remembered a 22-point game against the Engineers while playing for the Yellow Jackets.

He inherits a Rose-Hulman men’s basketball program that finished 15-10 last season and has reached the HCAC Tournament championship game six times since 2012 with three league tournament titles. It’s a veteran team, he indicated Tuesday, which he likes.

“I’m very excited to come in with a team with a bunch of juniors and seniors,” Sales said. “As a group, I’m very excited to coach at Rose-Hulman . . . ever since I got the call [that I’d been hired] I’ve been all smiles.”

The timing of the hire means that Sales won’t have his first recruiting class in place for the 2022-23 season, although some of the young men recruited by Loyd are on campus.

“There will be two or three freshmen, maybe a transfer,” Sales said when asked about newcomers on this winter’s team. “The biggest thing right now is trying to get to know these guys.” He said he planned to be in contact with Mark Hankins’ family later Tuesday; the 2022 Terre Haute North graduate and McMillan Award winner is one of those newcomers on campus.

“They want to be here for an education,” Tweedy pointed out.

The atmosphere at Rose-Hulman was one of the main things that drew him there, Sales said.

“You always want to have a job where you’re comfortable,” he said, “but you don’t want to get complacent.”

Sales becomes just the sixth men’s basketball head coach at Rose-Hulman since 1963 (Lloyd, Jim Shaw, Bill Perkins, Bill Fenlon, John Mutchner), only the eighth since 1929 (Phil Brown, Jim Carr) and just the 15th coach in the nearly 120-season history of Rose-Hulman basketball.

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