From the moment he joined the Hillsdale College men’s basketball team as a freshman in 2010, Brandon Pritzl has been on the rise.
This April marks the newest step in Pritzl’s journey, as Hillsdale College has named him Associate Head Coach for the men’s basketball program.
The new title reflects the increased role Pritzl will play in the upcoming 2020-21 season, his fifth with the Charger program, and his presence as the senior assistant on head coach John Tharp’s staff. Pritzl is now the longest-tenured men’s basketball assistant in the program following the departure of Ryan Choiniere, an assistant at Hillsdale for six years, in March to pursue other coaching opportunities.
But it’s also a credit to Pritzl, a rising star in coaching who’s helped the Chargers to an NCAA Division II tournament appearance and a share of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference regular season title during his time as an assistant.
“I really do think he’s one of the best young coaches in the Midwest, and someone who’s ready for this opportunity,” said Tharp, who will enter the 14th season of a very successful tenure at Hillsdale College in the fall of 2020. “He’s got the full package, in terms of his ability to give individual instruction and develop players in the weight room and on the court, in his ability to break down film, his understanding of the game and his quality as a leader.
“I’m excited to continue having Brandon as a part of our staff, and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to grow as a coach.”
For Pritzl, the new role is a chance to once again prove his ability at a higher level, as he did previously as both a player and as a new assistant coach at Hillsdale College.
“Coach Tharp, Ryan and I have worked together for several years as a staff, and we’ve put a lot of effort into creating a family atmosphere and a great culture around our program,” Pritzl said. “With Ryan moving on and me taking on this new position, it’s a chance for me to step up and show that I can do my part to help maintain the culture we’ve built, and to help our program continue building off the success it’s had in the last few years.”
Pritzl came to Hillsdale College from De Pere, Wisconsin, where he starred at De Pere High School as a basketball player, earning Fox River Classic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and All-Area Player of the Year Honors in 2009-10, his senior year.
As a player at Hillsdale from 2010-14, Pritzl was a three-year starter at shooting guard and was twice named to the GLIAC All-Defensive team (2011-12, 2013-14) while helping lead the Chargers to just their second-ever GLIAC regular season title and multiple seasons of 20 or more wins.
After graduating, Pritzl spent two years as a graduate assistant with the Ohio University men’s basketball program before returning to Hillsdale as a full-time assistant for the 2016-17 season.
During Pritzl’s four seasons as an assistant, the Chargers compiled a 74-41 record, won a share of just the third regular season conference title since the program moved to Division II in 1990, and made Hillsdale’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance.
With four starters returning from a team that won 19 games and a share of the regular season G-MAC title in 2019-20, the Chargers should have a strong squad in Pritzl’s first season as Associate Head Coach.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity,” Pritzl said. “I fell in love with coaching and the idea of pursuing a career in coaching while I was a player at Hillsdale, and to get the opportunity to coach here was a dream come true.
“I feel lucky to be getting coaching experiences that are valuable for my career at a program I love, in a place I love, and surrounded by people I love and respect.”