Bill Sall, Head Coach
The Ferris State University men’s basketball program began its climb back to the top of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) when former assistant coach Bill Sall was appointed the program’s 11th head coach prior to the 2002-03 campaign.
Ferris State capped off a banner 2004-05 season under Sall's directon with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament. FSU reached the regional championship game for only the third time in school history during Sall's third season at the helm. In his fourth season (2005-06), the Bulldogs returned to the NCAA-II Tournament for the second consecutive campaign.
The Bulldogs, who also won their second-straight GLIAC North Division Championship with a 13-5 league mark in 2004-05, concluded the year with a 24-7 overall record and fell one game shy of advancing to the NCAA-II Elite Eight for the second time ever. FSU's 24 victories represented the third-most wins in school history.
After leading the Bulldogs to an 11-15 overall record in his first season (2002-03) at the helm, Sall guided Ferris to the GLIAC North Division Regular-Season Championship in 2003-04. FSU finished the season with a 14-14 overall record, including a first place 14-4 league mark. FSU also posted its best overall record in 2003-04 since compiling a 21-12 ledger during the 1997-98 season.
Sall, who served four seasons (1998-2002) as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Hillsdale (Mich.) College, was the unanimous choice of a five-member search committee.
In four seasons at Hillsdale, Sall was instrumental in leading the Chargers to a 72-41 (.637) overall record and two consecutive (2001-02) NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional tournament appearances while being involved with the program’s administrative, recruiting and on-floor coaching aspects under head coach Ed Douma. The Chargers reached the regional semifinals during the 2000-01 campaign while posting a 24-8 overall mark en route to a first-place 13-4 GLIAC South Division title.
Prior to his appointment at Hillsdale, Sall was the top assistant coach at Ferris State for three seasons (1995-98) and spent the first year (1995-96) as an assistant to head coach Tom Ludwig. During the 1995-96 campaign, he had the opportunity to serve a portion of the season as the Bulldogs’ interim head coach. In his brief tenure, Ferris recorded a 5-8 start before finishing the year with a 6-20 overall record. As an assistant coach, Sall helped guide FSU to a 21-12 finish along with a GLIAC Tournament Championship title and a NCAA Division II National Tournament berth during the 1997-98 season.
A nine-year collegiate assistant coach, Sall received his coaching start under Douma at his alma mater Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from 1992-95. The Knights made two NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances, claimed the 1993-94 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Championship and were 37-17 (.685) overall during his two seasons as an assistant coach.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Sall was a standout player at Calvin from 1985-1990. A two-time (1989-90) MIAA Co-Most Valuable Player, Sall currently ranks as the Knights’ third-leading all-time scorer with 2,063 points, which included a 70-game double-figure scoring streak. The 6-5 forward also grabbed 738 career rebounds as Calvin captured three (1986, 89-90) MIAA championships, earned four NCAA-III tournament bids and advanced to the 1990 NCAA Division III Final Four. During his collegiate career, the three-time (1987, 89-90) first-team All-MIAA honoree reached double-figure scoring in 100 of 109 outings, which presently ranks second on the all-time Calvin chart. Sall, a two-time (1989-90) second-team National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division III All-America performer, is currently listed 10th (864 points) among the MIAA’s all-time scoring leaders and is seventh (.586; 341-582) on the league’s career field goal percentage chart.
As a prepster, Sall attained honorable mention all-state and all-area basketball laurels at Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, Mich. The Zeeland, Mich., native displayed his athletic versatility by winning the 1985 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class B State 400-meter run title. He also competed in cross country.
A member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Sall is married to the former Karen Brower. The couple has a daughter, Delaney (born July 19, 2002), along with triplets Quentin, Lydia and Hannah (born March 9, 2005). Sall graduated from Calvin in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management.
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