Butler CC hires Nitsche as new Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Butler Community College athletic director Todd Carter announced the hiring of Eric Nitsche as the next Grizzly men’s basketball head coach on Tuesday afternoon.

Nitsche (pronounced nitch-ee) is a veteran Jayhawk Conference coach having spent the last 14 seasons as an assistant with stops at KCKCC, Cowley and Hutchinson.

He is set to be officially announced at a press conference at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 31st, in the Grizzly Athletic Hall of Fame Room that is attached to the Power Plant. The public is welcome to attend.

“I cannot thank Todd Carter, Dr. Kim Krull, the administration and hiring committee enough for their belief in me to lead this great program,” said Nitsche. “It is something my family and I will never forget nor take for granted. We are excited to make the move to El Dorado and immerse ourselves in the community. We will work incredibly hard to deliver a product on the floor, on campus and in the community that people are excited to get behind!”

Everywhere Nitsche has coached, success has followed. Spending the last 10 seasons as the lead assistant for Tommy DeSalme at both Cowley and Hutchinson, both programs have seen immense success with Nitsche on staff. He helped lead Hutchinson to the NJCAA National Tournament in two out of three seasons on staff as well as helping Cowley to two berths including an appearance in the 2021 NJCAA Tournament Championship game.

“What stood out to me about Eric was the enthusiasm and passion he displayed when talking about this opportunity,” Butler athletic director Todd Carter said. “He has proven success on the court and flat out knows how to win in this conference. I’m excited for him and his family to get to El Dorado”

Nitsche has spent his entire 14-year coaching career in the KJCCC. Most recently, Nitsche served three seasons at Hutchinson where he was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2023-24 season. The Blue Dragons amassed a record of 75-28 with Nitsche on staff, leading the KJCCC in points per game all three seasons. Hutchinson advanced to the second round (2022) and quarterfinals (2024) in the two seasons they qualified for the national tournament. Nitsche mentored an All-American in all three seasons with the Blue Dragons, Angelo Stuart in 2022, Aaron Franklin in 2023 and Kamryn Thomas in 2024.

Prior to Hutchinson, Nitsche was an assistant coach at Cowley for seven seasons. He helped pave the way for one of the most successful stretches of basketball in Cowley history as the Tigers won 133 games across seven seasons. The last two seasons in Arkansas City saw the Tigers qualify for two NJCAA National Tournaments. The 2019-20 team led the country in points per game, averaging 109.8 on the way to a Jayhawk East championship, later receiving an at-large bid to the national tournament. The following season saw Cowley average 109.0 points per game, second best in the nation as they finished 24-5, were co-champions of the Jayhawk East and won the Region VI title. That team advanced all the way to the NJCAA championship game before falling 108-99 to Coffeyville. Nitsche mentored a back-to-back All-American at Cowley in Dalen Ridgnal, only the third two-time All-American in Tiger program history.

In April 2020, Nitsche was named one of the 50 most impactful coaches in JUCO basketball by Silverwaves Media while at Cowley.

His coaching career began at Kansas City Kansas CC as an assistant coach from 2010-13 where the Blue Devils had a 66-30 overall record across his time in Kansas City.

Nitsche, a Mission, Kan., native, was an All-City basketball and football player at Shawnee Mission North High School, graduating in 2005. He went on to play his first two years of college basketball at Kansas City Kansas Community College before spending his final two seasons at the University of Saint Mary. He led his college teams to 20-plus wins all four years and finished in the top-10 in career three-point field goal percentage at both schools.

Nitsche and his wife, Hannah, have three sons: Blake (10), Jack (7) and Luke (5).


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