Calvin leads alum back to lead the Knights

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Calvin lured Bill Sall, who was a head coach at Division II Northwood University, back to lead the men's program where he excelled as a player.

The College announced the hire in a press conference.

"I am thrilled to announce Bill Sall as our new head men's basketball coach," said Calvin director of athletics Jim Timmer, Jr. in the school's associated release. "He is an established veteran coach at the collegiate level, who is passionate about the game of basketball and developing young men on and off the court. He is also passionate about Calvin and its mission."

Sall comes to Grand Rapids from Northwood University where he was the head men's basketball coach for six seasons. He went 61-103 with the Timberwolves, but is coming off back-to-back winning seasons. Last season Northwood went 17-12 and reached the GLIAC tournament semifinals. Previously Sall was the head coach for 11 seasons at Division II Ferris State where he went 176-153. He led the Bulldogs to the Division II NCAA Tournament round of 16 in 2005 and 2011.

As a player at Calvin, Sall was the MIAA Most Valuable Player and an NABC All-American in 1989 and 1990. The Knights reached the NCAA Tournament national semifinals in Sall's senior year. He is currently third on the Knights' all-time list for points (2,063).

"I am humbled and incredibly excited to be the next Calvin men's basketball coach," said Sall in the release. "It is a program that has always been close to my heart. I grew up watching Ralph Honderd and Don Vroon roam the sidelines. I had the blessing to play and coach under Ed Douma. I have had the pleasure of coaching against Kevin Vande Streek and watching some of his amazing teams.  To stand on the shoulders of so many great coaches over nearly 100 years is an awesome feeling. I can't wait to get started and to meet with the Calvin team."    

Sall replaces Vande Streek who announced his retirement at the end of last season. Vande Streek finished as the Knights' all-time leader for coaching victories (435) and led the Knights to the Division III national title in 2000.

Calvin went 14-13, 8-6 in the MIAA last season.