Bill Sall is the new men’s basketball coach at Calvin. He becomes the 12th head coach in the history of a program that will celebrate its 100th year next season.
Sall replaces the recently retired Kevin Vande Streek (who served 23 years at the Calvin helm), and he comes to Calvin following six years as the head men’s basketball coach at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. His return to west Michigan will be a homecoming for the Jenison native and graduate of both Hudsonville Unity Christian High School and Calvin College (where he was a two-time Division III All-American and a two-time MIAA MVP on the men’s basketball team).
“I am thrilled to announce Bill Sall as our new head men’s basketball coach,” said Calvin director of athletics Jim Timmer Jr. “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. We welcome Bill and his family back to campus, and we can’t wait to start working with him.”
Sall is grateful for the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program at his alma mater. “I would like to personally thank Jim Timmer and President (Michael) Le Roy as well as the entire search committee for extending this opportunity to me,” said Sall. “I am humbled and incredibly excited to be the next Calvin men’s basketball coach. 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.”
This past year, Sall led the Northern Michigan men’s basketball team to a 17-12 record and a berth in the GLIAC Tournament semifinals. His team was regionally ranked heading into the final week of the NCAA Division II regular season. At Northern he took over a program that had experienced six consecutive losing seasons and rebuilt the Wildcats into a winning program. In 2017-18, he led Northern to a 15-13 record and a third-place finish in the GLIAC North Division before fashioning a 17-12 mark and a second-consecutive third-place finish in the GLIAC North Division this season.
Prior to his tenure at Northern Michigan, he served as head coach of the Ferris State men’s basketball program for 11 years, and all told he has 26 years of collegiate men’s basketball coaching experience, having also served as an assistant men’s coach at Calvin, Ferris State and Hillsdale College.
At Ferris State, Sall led the Bulldogs to four Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division titles (2003-04, 2004-5, 2010-11, 2011-12) and a trio of NCAA Division II Tournament trips (2004-05, 2005-06, 2010-11), reaching a pair of regional championship games. His overall record at Ferris State was 171-145 (127-85 GLIAC).
Sall served four seasons (1998-2002) as an assistant coach under Ed Douma at Hillsdale College before being appointed head coach at Ferris State. The Chargers were 72-41 (.637) during his time in Hillsdale, reaching two consecutive (2001-02) NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional tournaments and winning one GLIAC South title.
Sall was the top assistant at Ferris State for three seasons (1995-98). During the 1997-98 season, he helped guide the Bulldogs to a 21-12 finish, a GLIAC tournament title, and a NCAA Division II National Tournament berth. He was interim head coach for a portion of the 1995-96 season.
Sall’s coaching career at Calvin began with Douma from 1992-95. The Knights made two NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances, claimed the 1993-94 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship, and were 37-17 (.685) during his two seasons as an assistant coach.
Sall was a standout player at Calvin from 1985-90. A two-time (1989-90) MIAA co-Most Valuable Player, he currently ranks third on the Knights’ scoring list with 2,063 points, which includes a 70-game double-figure scoring streak. He was a two-time (1989-90) second-team National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III All-American. He graduated from Calvin with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management.
Sall and his wife, Karen, have four children: Delaney, Lydia, Hannah, and Quinton. His wife Karen is a native of Hudsonville and, like her husband, also a graduate of Hudsonville Unity Christian High School and Calvin College.