Nebraska Wesleyan Names Wellman as Head Basketball Coach
LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Wesleyan University announced today the hiring of Dale Wellman as the new men’s basketball head coach.He becomes the 23rd head coach in the history of the NWU basketball program.
Dale Wellman comes to Nebraska Wesleyan after spending the past six seasons as the head coach at Alfred University, a NCAA Division III Institution located in Alfred, New York.He was named the Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year this past season leading his team to an 18-9 overall record.
“I am excited to announce the hiring of Dale Wellman as the new Nebraska Wesleyan basketball coach,” NWU Athletic Director Ira Zeff said.“Coach Wellman has had a variety of NCAA experience as a player, assistant coach and the last six years as the head coach at Alfred University and that will prove valuable as he takes over as head coach of the Prairie Wolves.”
While at Alfred, Wellman inherited a program that had just completed a 2-23 season before his arrival then turned the program around leading the Saxons to postseason tournament bids in two of the past three years.His team showed a six-game improvement in his first season followed with a three-game hike in year two.In 2011-12 he led Alfred to the postseason for the first time in 11 years, competing in the ECAC Upstate Tournament.
Wellman brings to NWU a fast-paced, up-tempo system that is exciting for the campus community, fans and most importantly the current players and future recruits.This past season, Alfred ranked third among all NCAA III teams in points per game at 96.7 points per contest, reaching the 100 point mark in 13 of 27 games.They also ranked fourth in the country in steals, while leading all of Division III in total rebounds and offensive rebounds per game.In total, Alfred finished in the top 10 nationally in 10 different statistical categories while playing an average of 15 players per game.
“I’m looking forward to becoming part of the NWU family and joining the great tradition of the Nebraska Wesleyan basketball program as well as the high academic standards of the institution,” Coach Wellman stated.“I want to thank Dr. Ira Zeff for giving me the opportunity to the join the Prairie Wolves program and I am excited to get started working with him as well as the entire NWU Athletic Department and campus community.”
Before his stint at Alfred, Wellman spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Williams College in Massachusetts under current Bucknell head coach and two-time NABC Division III Coach-of-the-Year winner, Dave Paulsen.In his two seasons, Williams won the Conference Championship in 2007 and advanced to the NCAA III National Tournament.
His collegiate coaching career began in 2002 when was an assistant coach at Kenyon (Ohio) College.A year later he was appointed assistant coach at Union College in New York.He then spent two seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Eastern Kentucky University where he helped EKU set a school record for wins an earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Wellman is a 1999 graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history.He played four seasons for the Tigers, participating twice in the NCAA Division III National Tournament (1997, 1998) and earning SCAC All-Academic honors.He also played baseball and earned All-Conference honors.He earned a master’s degree in physical education (sports administration) in 2006 from Eastern Kentucky.
He moves to Lincoln with his wife Lisa and two children; Brady (3) and Tessa (8 months).
Wellman replaces Cam Schuknect who left NWU to become an assistant basketball coach at Luther College.NWU is coming off a 15-10 season, their highest win total since the first year of the Great Plains Athletic Conference in 2001.