Ackley tabbed as Head Men’s Basketball Coach at St. Joe’s (ME)

Saint Joseph’s College Interim Director of Athletics Bob Chaddock is pleased to announce that Tyler Ackley has been named as the fifth head coach in the history of the Monks Men’s Basketball program.

Ackley comes to Saint Joseph’s from Colby College, where he served as The John “Swisher” Mitchell Assistant Coach for four years and, in 2020, helped lead the Mules to their first-ever NESCAC Championship game appearance, as well as their first NCAA Tournament berth in 23 years. 

“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the Saint Joseph’s College community,” adds Coach Ackley. “I can’t thank Bob Chaddock, Dr. James Dlugos, Mike McDevitt, and Laura Carr enough for believing in my ability to lead this program.” 

“I would also like to thank Coach Wellman, Coach Strahorn, and the players at Nebraska Wesleyan and Colby for being instrumental in my development as a coach and person,” Ackley continues. “This is a dream come true and I am excited to get to campus and start building relationships with the guys and to work hard toward continuing the winning tradition that has been built.”

Ackley fills the men’s basketball position vacated by Rob Sanicola ’99, who served as the program’s head coach for 18 years with a 275-190 (.591) overall record and 14 winning seasons. Sanicola stepped down earlier this month to become the head coach at University of Southern Maine.

In 52 years, the Monks have seen just four different head coaches, as Sanicola (2004-21) was preceded by Rick Simonds (1980-92, 94-03), John Scheinman (1993), and Chris Kiernan (1970-79). One of the most storied programs in NCAA DIII Men’s Basketball history, the Monks rank 18th all-time in winning percentage with a .640 (836-470) clip.

Colby posted a 24-4 (.857) overall record with an 8-2 (.800) mark in NESCAC play during the 2019-20 campaign and scored at least 100 points in eight different games. The Mules, ranked nationally for the majority of the season, were listed as high as fifth in the top-25 poll.

At the completion of the 2019-20 season, Colby ranked among the nation’s leaders in numerous statistical categories, including three-point field goals per game (13.3, 3rd), three-pointers made (373, 3rd), assists (550, 4th), assist-turnover ratio (1.63, 6th), three-point defense (29.2%, 7th), and scoring offense (87.8%, 14th).

“I’m happy to announce the appointment of Tyler Ackley as the next head coach for the SJC men’s basketball program,” adds Chaddock. “Tyler has competed at a high level as a player and gained important DIII coaching and recruiting experience at Nebraska Wesleyan and Colby College.’

“He is fully committed to the overall development of the student-athlete, including academic success,” Chaddock continues. “Additionally, Coach Ackley will be an excellent colleague within the athletics department and across the SJC community.”

Prior to his time at Colby, Coach Ackley was a three-year assistant coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he recruited and coached seven players who combined to earn 14 all-conference honors, including a Jostens Award winner, three All-Americans and the Conference’s Most Valuable Player and NCAA Division III Final Four MVP. 

During his three seasons in Lincoln, the Prairie Wolves featured a wide-open offensive philosophy that saw Nebraska-Wesleyan lead NAIA DII in scoring average and three-point shots in 2015 and 2016.

Though he left following the 2016-17 season, Ackley’s recruiting efforts helped Nebraska Wesleyan win the 2018 NCAA DIII National Championship with a 30-3 record.

A graduate of Castleton University, Ackley received his bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration in May of 2014 and went on to earn a master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University-Irvine in 2019.

A four-year letterwinner and two-year starting point guard for the Spartans, Ackley registered 519 points, 395 assists, 175 rebounds, and 150 steals in 112 career contests. The two-year team captain helped lead Castleton to its first-ever North Atlantic Conference (NAC) title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2012 and remains among the program’s all-time leaders in games, steals and assists.

Ackley hails from Scotia, N.Y. where he was an All-Conference player at Scotia-Glenville High School.

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