MEN’s basketball scores Bill Sall, former hoops standout
Bill Sall (left) is the new men’s basketball coach at Calvin. He is the 12th head coach in the history of a program that will celebrate its 100th year this season.
Sall comes to Calvin following six years as the head men’s basketball coach at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. His return to west Michigan will be a homecoming for the Jenison native and graduate of both Hudsonville Unity Christian High School and Calvin University—where he was a two-time Division III All-American and a two-time MIAA MVP on the men’s basketball team.
“I am humbled and incredibly excited to be the next Calvin men’s basketball coach,” said Sall. “It is a program that has always been close to my heart. I grew up watching Ralph Honderd and Don Vroon roam the sidelines. I had the blessing to play and coach under Ed Douma. I have had the pleasure of coaching against Kevin Vande Streek and watching some of his amazing teams. To stand on the shoulders of so many great coaches over nearly 100 years is an awesome feeling.”
Prior to his tenure at Northern Michigan, he served as head coach of the Ferris State men’s basketball program for 11 years; and all told, he has 26 years of collegiate men’s basketball coaching experience, having also served as an assistant men’s coach at Calvin, Ferris State, and Hillsdale College.
Sall was a standout player at Calvin from 1985–1990. He currently ranks third on the Knights’ scoring list with 2,063 points. He graduated from Calvin with a bachelor’s in recreation management.
Mark Christner returns to lead women's hoops
A native of Big Rapids, Michigan, Mark Christner (right) returns to Calvin after spending the previous nine years as head men’s basketball coach at Waynesburg University (Pennsylvania). Prior to that position, Christner spent eight years as an assistant coach with the Calvin men’s basketball program and three years as an assistant coach with the Calvin women’s basketball program.
“It is bittersweet in that I am leaving my Waynesburg family,” said Christner. “What makes this change much easier is that I will be rejoining a family that is also very close to my heart in Calvin University. I am looking forward to joining a program with a strong tradition and a good base of players.”
During his eight years as an assistant men’s basketball coach and head men’s junior varsity coach at Calvin, Christner helped lead the Knights to four berths in the NCAA Division III national tournament. Before working with the men’s team, Christner broke in as a coach at Calvin with the women’s basketball team from 1999 to 2002.
Christner earned his bachelor of arts in 1999 from Calvin, where he majored in history and minored in physical education with an emphasis in coaching. He went on to earn a master of arts in physical education with a pedagogy emphasis in 2005 from Western Michigan University. At Calvin, he played two years on the Calvin junior varsity men’s basketball team and one year on the varsity.