NORTH ADAMS, MA--Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Director of Athletics Laura Mooney has announced that Derek Shell has been hired to lead the men’s basketball program following a national search. Shell succeeds interim head coach Anthony Skiffington, and will start in his new role August 1.
“I had three categories in mind when looking for our new head men’s basketball coach: character, coaching style, and fit, and Derek Shell exemplifies all three,” Mooney said. “He has coached and recruited in the MASCAC, and I have no doubt that under his leadership our program will be a regular participant in the postseason.”
Previously, Shell was the assistant coach at Division III Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass. He was an integral part of the program that went 15-13 and advanced to the ECAC New England Championship game. He primarily assisted with player development, scouting, and recruiting for the Amcats.
Prior to that, he served seven seasons as the head coach at Fitchburg State University. In his final season with the Falcons, his team defeated MCLA in the MASCAC championship game in North Adams, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament. The championship was the first in program history for the Falcons. In 2008, Shell was named the MASCAC Coach of the Year as he led his program into the ECAC New England Regional Tournament.
Shell will inherit a team that went 6-19 during the 2015-16 campaign. No stranger to the MASCAC, Shell knows what it will take to turn things around.
“I’d like to thank Laura and the search committee for the opportunity at MCLA. I’m very excited to get back into the MASCAC and lead this program going forward,” Shell commented after accepting the position.
Shell will make his 2016 coaching debut for the Trailblazers in November. Aside from coaching, he will also serve as the assistant communications director within the department. He will handle game administration duties, marketing and promotion of MCLA’s athletic programs, and statistical reporting.