OFFICIAL: Van Zelst named Head Basketball Coach at Arcadia

Photo Courtesy Arcadia Athletics

Arcadia University announced the hiring of Adam Van Zelst as head coach of the men’s basketball team on Wednesday, July 10. He will begin his tenure at Arcadia on Monday, July 15.

Van Zelst spent last season as an assistant men’s basketball coach for Millersville University (NCAA Div. II), where he helped lead the Marauders to their highest win total in the past five seasons. With the second-youngest team in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), Millersville hosted its first playoff game in five years.

“It is an absolute honor to be chosen as the next head coach at Arcadia University, I couldn’t be more excited for this amazing opportunity,” said Van Zelst. “I would like to thank Director of Athletics Brian Granata and the search committee for entrusting me to lead this program. Arcadia is a special institution that provides a nationally-ranked education and offers a personal learning experience to our student-athletes on and off the court.”

Throughout his time at Millersville, Van Zelst acted as defensive coordinator and oversaw the development of the team’s guard play, which included two all-conference selections. Under his coaching, the Marauders’ defense saw significant improvements – jumping from 15th to fifth overall in the conference’s defensive rankings during his first season. His defense finished second in the PSAC in steals per game, fourth in blocked shots and sixth in points allowed.

“Over the course of the last nine seasons, (former head coach) Justin Scott elevated the Arcadia men’s basketball program to a championship level,” Granata said. “We were fortunate to have a very strong applicant pool for this position. Adam emerged as a top candidate and someone that we have complete confidence in to continue the upward trajectory of our program. He is deeply connected to our region having played at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in the highly-competitive Philly Catholic League. Adam is also very familiar with Division III and our athletics conference from his days as a player and coach at fellow MAC Commonwealth institution Albright College.”

Before joining Millersville, Van Zelst spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Albright. During his tenure, he coached the backcourt for six seasons and acted as the team’s recruiting coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic region. Van Zelst coached eight all-conference guards – including the 2018 MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year (DeJuan Smith).

During Albright’s 2017-18 campaign, Van Zelst received the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Under Armour 30-Under-30 Award – which recognizes emerging college coaches across the country. He also assisted the 2017-18 MAC Commonwealth Coach of the Year and helped guide Albright to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1980.

“We will work relentlessly to build off the success coach Scott established to take the program to new heights while representing the values of the University and the greater community,” added Van Zelst.

Van Zelst earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Albright. He was a member of the Lions’ basketball team for four seasons and ranks in the program’s top ten for all-time assists. The guard started 53 consecutive games for the Lions and helped capture the 2010 MAC Commonwealth Championship during his senior season.

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