Pratt names top Division III assistant Max Sass head coach

Pratt names top Division III assistant Max Sass head coach

NABC 2016-17 Under Armour 30-under-30

BROOKLYN -- Max Sass has been named Pratt Institute head men's basketball coach and facility rental coordinator, director of athletics Walter Rickard announced Tuesday. 

"I am thrilled to have Max on board to guide our program as we continue to grow and take steps to move to the next level," Rickard said. "He has worked at very high academic institutions in the past and understands what it will take from a recruiting standpoint to recruit high academic student-athletes to Pratt. He is a great addition to our department."

He comes to Pratt following a successful stint as the lead assistant coach at Wesleyan University (CT) in the New England Small College Athletics Conference (NESCAC). In April 2017, Sass was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Under Armour 30-under-30, a list recognizing the nation's top young coaching talent.  

In 2016-17, Sass helped guide Wesleyan to a program-record-tying 19 regular season wins and the second NCAA Tournament bid in the school's men's basketball history. Sass aided the team in reaching new heights nationally, rising as high as No. 9 in the National Poll. He also played a large part in directing the Cardinals to an outright Little 3 Championship for the first time since 1991, with a 3-1 record against rivals Amherst and Williams.

In his first year, Sass helped guide the Cardinals to 18 wins - good for third highest win total in program history - and a share of the Little Three title. Wesleyan knocked off multiple nationally ranked teams and rose as high as No. 17 in the national poll.

Prior to Wesleyan, he served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson the Liberty League. Over Sass' two seasons at Bard, the Raptors improved from four wins to a program record 11 wins in 2014-15, including six Liberty League victories. He was integral in all aspects of the program, including on-court coaching, practice planning, film breakdown and scouting.

Before his two years at Bard, Sass served as a graduate assistant for his alma mater, Hofstra University. At Hofstra, Max graduated from the University's Honors College with distinction and earned a BA in journalism with highest honors. As a graduate assistant and MBA candidate, he assisted the coaching staff in day-to-day operations, academic oversight, film breakdown, and social media presence.

In July and August, 2015, Max represented the U.S. as the assistant men's basketball coach at the European Maccabi Games in Berlin, Germany. He helped put together a team of 12 of the best Jewish players in the country to compete against Israel, France, Germany and other nations in the Open Division.

He is also a veteran of the summer camp circuit, coaching at numerous Hoop Group Elite Camps, Skills Camps, Top 100s, Jam Fests as well as Hoop Mountain events, plus Ivy League elite camps including Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, and Columbia.

Sass earned a master's of arts degree with a concentration in humanities from Wesleyan.

What they're saying about Sass ... 

"Max is a tireless recruiter, a man of high character and he has a brilliant basketball mind.  We will enjoy watching him direct a first-class program at Pratt."

-- Joe Reilly, head coach, Wesleyan University

"Max was instrumental in taking our program at Bard to another level both on and off the court in his two years as an assistant. He is a spectacular coach, leader, and recruiter because he connects with people naturally. He has made a habit of outworking his peers at every turn and will create a culture where this trait lives and breathes."

-- Adam Turner, head coach, Bard College

"[Max] is a relentless recruiter who is able to evaluate and identify the right student-athletes for the institution ... I was able to see firsthand Max's sharp intellect, connection with players and his ability to lead, instruct, and teach. I have no doubt Max will do a terrific job representing Pratt positively on and off the court."

-- BJ Dunne, head coach, Vassar College

"[Max] has grown into a top notch recruiter and exceptional coach.  Being right down the road at Sacred Heart I got to see him first-hand help build a championship program at Wesleyan and I am confident he can create that same championship culture at Pratt."

-- Kyle Steinway, assistant coach, Sacred Heart University