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Bethesda native Dan Engelstad has begun his first season as a Division I men’s head basketball coach.
Engelstad was named the head coach at Mount St. Mary’s earlier this year. He replaced Jamion Christian who was named the new head coach at Siena.
Engelstad, a former assistant coach at the Mount under Milan Brown, spent the last five seasons at the helm of Southern Vermont College, a Division III athletic program that competes in the New England Collegiate Conference.
“When you think Mount basketball, you think enthusiasm, excitement and eagerness to prove one’s self,” said Christian. “Dan has always exemplified these qualities. For the Mount and for him, I am juiced. The players in that locker room are going to love playing for him, and our fans will love how they play.”
The former Whitman High School three-sport star began his career as an assistant coach at Mount St. Mary’s from 2007 to 2010 under Brown and helped guide the Mountaineers to a Northeast Conference Championship in 2008.
“I’ve watched Dan grow into a tremendous coach and an even better person,” said Brown. “What he was able to do at Southern Vermont was impressive and I’m sure success will follow him to the Mount. His energy, knowledge, and work ethic will be a great fit for the Mount St. Mary’s basketball program.”
The Mount St. Mary’s coaching staff includes former Churchill High School head coach Matt Miller and former Montgomery College-Germantown head coach Xavier Joyner.
Miller, who holds more than 14 years of experience between the NCAA and high school levels, joined the Mount after spending the last four seasons as the head coach at St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown where he guided the program to a 100-42 record.
“Matt has been one of the elite high school coaches in the country in what he has done at St. Maria Goretti,” said Engelstad. “He has demonstrated the ability to lead, teach the game, and build a program. He has deep ties to the area that will serve our basketball program well.”
Meanwhile, Joyner, a Prince George’s County native, brings a wealth of experience to the program with stops at the collegiate and high school levels in addition to the AAU circuit.
Joyner, who spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach for Nike Team Takeover, helped the program capture the prestigious Las Vegas FAB 48 Championship last year.
“Xavier has been a successful head coach at the collegiate level, worked with a top high school staff at Paul VI, and worked with one of the top AAU programs in Team Takeover,” said Engelstad. “He has demonstrated the ability to connect with people and is also a teacher of the game.”
The Mountaineers boast a young team comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores including former Bullis standout Vado Morse. The Mount played seven of their first eight games on the road this season and the schedule has featured contests against North Carolina State, Maryland and St. John’s.
“With our schedule, we want to challenge ourselves year in and year out,” said Engelstad. “This year’s schedule allows us to compete against some of the top teams around the nation, and gives our young and talented group the chance to grow throughout the year. We can’t wait to get in front of the Knott Arena crowd to display our brand of basketball.”