Eastern coach to focus on AD role

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Dan Pruessner, right, has taken over the Eastern men's basketball program going forward.
Eastern athletics

Eastern athletic director Eric McNelley has told his team and the department that he will be stepping away from his role as head men's basketball coach to focus on the overall development of athletics as a means to growing the university. With that move, associate head coach Dan Pruessner will assume leadership of the men's basketball program at the conclusion of this season.

"I have tremendous confidence in Dan as a basketball coach, program-builder, and asa role model for our student-athletes," McNelley stated. "He came here this fall and made an immediate impact on our program. He is an outstanding teacher who sees the game and can do the X's and O's. He has a great history as a mentor, and I believe that recruits will want to play for Dan."

Eastern finished the season 15-11, 9-5 in the MAC Freedom. The Eagles were 57-46 in four years under McNelley as head coach.

Pruessner came to Eastern from Fayetteville, N.C., where he had a successful run as a high school coach and program-builder. He ran the FCA/Freedom Courts Sportsplex in Fayetteville and coached at Freedom Christian Academy. Before that, he had success coaching in South Florida.

McNelley noted the importance of giving Pruessner the chance to finish the recruiting process for next year's class. As associate head coach, Pruessner was already a primary contact for most recruits.

"I appreciate the opportunity to take over a program that has an established standard of excellence." Pruessner said "I look forward to building on the great foundation coach McNelley built. We will continue to set standards that will produce success on and off the court."

Pruessner and his wife Kelly have three boys, Cole 13, Ian 11, and Tyler 9.