Filzen named Head Basketball Coach at D3 Bethel University

Photo Courtesy Bethel Athletics

Director of Athletics Greg Peterson announced today the hiring of Zach Filzen as the new head coach for the Bethel University men’s basketball team. Filzen becomes the program’s 12th head coach after spending the last three years at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.
“I’m thrilled with how Zach quickly emerged during the search and how so many factors pointed towards him being a great fit for the young men in our men’s basketball program and for the future,” said Peterson. “He is passionate and driven to achieve excellence to impact the Kingdom and takes seriously the opportunity to develop the young men spiritually, academically, and athletically.”
In his three seasons at Lawrence, Filzen began rebuilding the Vikings back to a top contender in the Midwest Conference. In his first season, he led them to their most wins since 2013-14 while setting the program’s single-season record in free-throw percentage. The following year, the Vikings recorded a program-best 234 makes from behind the arc.
“I could not be more excited to be the next head men’s basketball coach at Bethel,” said Filzen. “Bethel is a special place that is an incredible fit for my family and me. I am truly humbled and grateful to take the reins of this program. The opportunity to influence young men for Jesus Christ while at the same time building a program that pursues high-level athletic excellence is something that I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do.”
In 2017-18, he was chosen for the NABC Under Armour 30-Under 30, an award that recognizes a group of up-and-coming young coaches. He was one of seven NCAA Division III coaches named to the list.
Prior to his time at Lawrence, Filzen spent three seasons as head coach of Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pa. He compiled an overall record of 64-21 (.752), as his 64 wins were the second-most in program history, and his .752 winning percentage was best in program history. The Chargers were 45-9 in NEAC play during the regular season with Filzen at the helm, and posted a 7-1 mark in NEAC postseason play, appearing in the NEAC Final in each of his three seasons.
Filzen was chosen as the 2016 and 2018 NEAC Coach of the Year, and he earned 2016 East Region Coach of the Year honors. In both seasons, the Chargers earned a trip to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Filzen’s 2015-16 squad began the season 27-0, and earned the school’s first-ever NCAA Top 25 ranking, climbing as high as No. 13 just prior to the start of the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
A former NCAA Division I student-athlete, Filzen was a two-year starter at the University of Buffalo and helped his team to a pair of 20-plus win seasons. Filzen scored 1,155 career points and set the Buffalo record with 110 three-pointers made in a season. He started his career at Northern Arizona University and played one season there before transferring to Buffalo.

A 2012 graduate of Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Filzen attended Capitol Seminary and earned a master’s degree in ministry with an emphasis in leadership in 2016.

A native of Northfield, Minn., Filzen was a standout player at Northfield High School. Filzen set career and season records in points and earned All-Metro and All-State honors in 2007. Filzen comes to BU with MIAC ties having grown up watching his mother Tammy Metcalf-Filzen guide the women’s basketball programs at both Carleton College and St. Olaf College. 

“I want to thank President Ross Allen, Athletic Director Greg Peterson and the Search Committee for this incredible opportunity. The men’s basketball program has a rich history with many great players and coaches through the years. We will seek to build upon the shoulders of those who went before us as we chase athletic excellence for the glory of God.”

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