OFFICIAL: Stitzel Named Head Coach at Millersville University

Following up on a rumor from earlier this week (DII DIRT)…

Millersville University Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Brian Hazlett has announced Casey Stitzel as the Marauders’ new men’s basketball coach. Stitzel, a two-time MAC Freedom Coach of the Year, spent the previous eight seasons as the head coach at Delaware Valley University.

“We are excited to have Casey lead the basketball program in a positive direction,” said Hazlett. “Casey is a proven winner as a head coach, has family connections to Millersville University and will be able to hit the ground running with his area recruiting connections. The way he has built his program is what we want to see at Millersville. His energy is matched only by his care for and commitment to the student-athletes.”

“We wanted a coach that fit our values and department culture,” said Millersville University Director of Athletics Miles Gallagher. “It was important to have someone that aligned with my vision for the basketball program. Casey has a clear plan for restoring the rich history and tradition of the program and getting it back to a championship level. I’m confident that Casey will do this by recruiting the right type of students that fit academically at Millersville while also being able to compete athletically at the highest level.”

The winningest coach in Delaware Valley history, Stitzel inherited a program that had reached its conference tournament just once in the previous 41 seasons and had only two winning records in the 36 seasons prior to his arrival. Stitzel’s impact on the program was remarkable and immediate. A 13-13 record in 2008-09 was the program’s first .500 mark in more than a decade. In year three, Stitzel guided his team to a 17-11 record and the school’s first-ever MAC Freedom Championship. DelVal had never before won a postseason game.

Stitzel won a second MAC Freedom Tournament in 2013 with a 19-9 record. His third league crown in eight seasons came in 2016 while posting a program record 20 wins. Along with those three conference championships came three NCAA Tournament appearances. Stitzel owns a 116-96 (.547) career record.

Stitzel holds deep ties to Millersville University. His father, Glenn Stitzel, was a 1,000-point scorer on the hardwood and star on the baseball diamond from 1965-68. Glenn, who still holds the school record for most points scored in a game (58),  went on to play eight years in the minor leagues and was inducted into the Millersville University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

“I’ve always had dreams of being a head coach at the Division II level,” said Stitzel. “My dad is a proud alum and in the Millersville Athletic Hall of Fame, so I’ve heard great things about the University for a long time. This is a great job in the PSAC and a great opportunity for me and my wife, Liz, to be a part of the Millersville and Lancaster communities. I’m excited to get started recruiting and building this program into a contender in the PSAC and at the national level.

“I want to thank Mr. Hazlett, Mr. Gallagher and the search committee for this chance to lead the Marauders,” said Stitzel. “Millersville University is a great university with high-level academics and Mr. Hazlett and Mr. Gallagher have a clear vision for the athletic department. This will help us bring in some great student-athletes.”

Stitzel was mentored by some of the top coaches in the country, starting with his high school coach at Lansdale Catholic, Chris Mooney, who is now the head coach at the University of Richmond. After a standout high school career, Stitzel played under Dave Duda at Widener from 2001-05, scoring 1,189 points and earning All-Commonwealth Conference honors in 2003. His coaching career began under Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach Herb Magee at Philadelphia University. In two seasons under Magee, Stitzel helped the Rams to a 41-20 record with a NCAA Tournament berth and back-to-back Division II players of the year.

“Working for one of the top programs in the nation and under a hall of famer like Herb Magee was invaluable,” said Stitzel. “I was able to get that experience, recruiting at the scholarship level and for a program that’s been so successful. Then, becoming a coach at 26 years old and taking a program with no success or history and building that up to where it became one of the best in the conference was an experience that will help me at Millersville.”

Stitzel built Delaware Valley through an infusion of talent which came from hard work on the recruiting trail. In eight seasons, Stitzel developed 11 all-conference players and three MAC Freedom players of the year. Under Stitzel, Delaware Valley won in a variety of ways. In 2015-16, Stitzel’s club led the league in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. Two seasons before, his team led the league in scoring offense.

“We will build an up-tempo team that will play up and down with a lot of pressure defense and compete every night,” said Stitzel. “Intangibles are a key. In recruiting we will identify high character guys that will represent the program and the University in the right way. We want players who want to win. We want to recruit winners that will excel on and off the court.”

Millersville men’s basketball is one of the most storied programs in the PSAC. Millersville ranks second among all PSAC schools with 10 conference championships. Its last championship came in 2007.

Photo Courtesy MU Athletics

Tagged with: