NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Following a national search, Manchester University has found its next head men’s basketball coach. Athletic Director Rick Espeset has announced that Nate Conley has been selected as the program’s next head coach. Conley is set to begin his coaching duties on October 11.
“It is with great enthusiasm and gratitude I begin as the next head men’s basketball coach at Manchester University,” Conley said. “The passion that the coaches, student-athletes, administrators, and alumni have for the educational experience at MU, combined with the pride and tradition of this men’s basketball program, makes this a tremendous opportunity for me and my family.
“I would like to extend my appreciation to Rick Espeset, the search committee, and all those involved in the hiring process for trusting me to lead this storied program moving forward.”
Conley comes to Manchester University after serving on Mike DeWitt’s coaching staff at Ohio Wesleyan University. Conley joined the Battling Bishops as an assistant coach in 2013 and was elevated to associate head men’s basketball coach in 2016. During his tenure at OWU, the Battling Bishops produced a record of 119-49 and went 79-29 in North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) play.
Conley helped guide Ohio Wesleyan to three NCAC Regular Season Conference titles, included its first conference title in 27 years in 2015. The Battling Bishops appeared in three straight NCAA Division III Tournaments from 2014-2016 and garnered D3Hoops.com national rankings in five consecutive seasons. OWU was ranked as high as No. 6 in nation during the 2014-15 season.
Coach Conley helped mentor the 2018 D3Hoops.com National Player of the Year and 2018 Josten’s Trophy Winner Nate Axelrod. The Ohio Wesleyan men’s basketball program produced a pair of National Association of Basketball Coaches First Team All-Americans, four NCAC Players the Year, and 10 First Team All-NCAC selections.
Prior to his stint with the Battling Bishops, Conley served as the Graduate Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Defiance College.
“I also want to thank Mike DeWitt and Kyle Brumett for both giving me opportunities to help contribute to their programs during my time as an assistant coach at Ohio Wesleyan University and Defiance College,” Conley noted.
During his time with the Yellow Jackets, Conley helped mentor three First Team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference performers and an Honorable Mention All-American. The Yellow Jackets posted a 42-36, 28-26 HCAC record and qualified for a pair of HCAC Tournaments.
The 2019-20 NCAA Division III men’s basketball season is about to get underway, with practices beginning next week on Tuesday October 15. The Spartans will have an exhibition game at Purdue-Fort Wayne on November 7 before hosting their first regular season contest against Oberlin College on November 12.
Conley stated that, “I am eager to get to campus and to begin working with the current group of Spartan basketball student-athletes while also recruiting student-athletes who will contribute positively to the community, campus, and basketball program at MU.”
Conley earned both his bachelor and master degrees from Defiance College. He also graduated from Bishop Dwenger High School.
“My wife, Chelsea, and our daughter, Logan, and I look forward to becoming part of the Manchester University and North Manchester communities,” Conley concluded.