Arcadia chooses Albright alum to lead program

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Michael Williams

Arcadia hired former Albright player and assistant coach Adam Van Zelst to lead its men's program after Justin Scott took an assistant job at Division I St. Joseph's in Philadelphia.

Arcadia Director of Athletics Brian Granata announced the hiring on Wednesday.

"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 in the release. "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."

Arcadia had a breakthrough season under Scott last year as the Knights improved from a .500 record in 2017-18  to 23-6, 14-2 in the MAC Commonwealth. Arcadia picked up its first 20-win season as an NCAA program, won the conference's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament and defeated New Jersey City in the first round.

Justin Scott left Arcadia with a 104-87 record, which is the best career mark in program history, to join Billy Lange's staff at nearby Division I St. Joseph's in Philadelphia. 

Van Zelst comes to the Knights' program after one season as an assistant to former Division III head coach Casey Stitzel at Division II Millersville (Pa.). Before that Van Zelst spent 12 seasons at Arcadia's conference rival Albright, including eight seasons as an assistant to Lions' head coach Rick Ferry. Van Zelst played four years at Albright and ranks in the program's top 10 for career assists.

"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," said Van Zelst in the release.