Nick Sales described Rose-Hulman Tuesday as “a really fun place, full of workers…great academically, but I know they care about the student-athlete experience.”
Those were some of the things that drew Sales to the engineering campus. He was announced Monday as Rose’s new men’s basketball coach and met with the press at Hulbert Arena on Tuesday.
Sales comes to Rose-Hulman after serving as an associate head coach at Ohio’s NCAA Division III Marietta College.
Sale 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 want to thank President Rob Coons, Athletic Director Ayanna Tweedy and the Search Committee for this phenomenal opportunity,” Sales said in a press release. “My family and I are thrilled to be part of the Terre Haute community for years to come.”
He replaces Rusty Loyd, who stepped down in the spring to become head coach at DePauw.
“It was a great opportunity for [Loyd]”, Tweedy said on Tuesday, “but I think we have found a very good gem in Coach Sales.”
Sales return 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 with Defiance in 2010. He told media outlets on Tuesday that he was in a 22-point game against the Engineers. remembered. 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 six times with three league titles since 2012. It is a veteran team, he indicated on Tuesday, which he likes.
“I’m really excited to come in with a team that has a bunch of juniors and seniors,” said Sales. “As a group, I’ve been very excited to coach at Rose-Hulman… ever since I got the call [that I’d been hired] I’ve had all smiles.”
The hiring timing means Sales will not have its first recruiting class for the 2022-23 season, although some of the young men being recruited by Loyd are on campus.
“There will be two or three freshmen, maybe a transfer,” Sales said when asked about newcomers to this winter’s team. “The most important thing right now is to get to know these guys.” He said he planned to get in touch with Mark Hankins’ family later Tuesday; the 2022 Terre Haute North graduate and McMillan Award winner is one of those newcomers to campus.
“They want to be here for an education,” Tweedy noted.
The atmosphere at Rose-Hulman was one of the main things that attracted him there, Sales said.
“You always want to have a job you’re comfortable with,” he said, “but you don’t want to get complacent.”
Sales becomes only the sixth Rose-Hulman men’s basketball head coach since 1963 (Loyd, Jim Shaw, Bill Perkins, Bill Fenlon, John Mutchner), only the eighth since 1929 (Phil Brown, Jim Carr), and only the 15th coach in the nearly 120 Season History of Rose-Hulman Basketball.