Just five days after he got the job offer, Abe Woldeslassie ’08 packed his car and drove 1,200 miles back to his alma mater to start his tenure leading the men’s basketball program. Why the rush? The team’s 19 returning players were about to leave campus for the summer, and connecting with them was his top priority.
That energy drives the new head coach’s vision for the program. Since graduating 10 years ago with a sociology degree, he has coached at several institutions, including three years as an assistant at Division 1 Davidson College. Now the youngest head coach in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), he’ll hit the recruiting trail this summer to build his first class of student-athletes.

But he’s thinking more broadly than just filling the Alumni Gym with top-flight recruits. Woldeslassie wants to turn the gym into a bustling destination by hosting open practices where anyone can drop by and turning home games into an exciting destination for the Macalester community and neighborhood families. “This program is a sleeping giant,” says Woldeslassie, a two-time All-MIAC guard as a student. “We want people to follow our team and be glad to see the Macalester score, for alumni to come back to campus and connect with our athletes, and for the Mac community to pack our gym. We want all who came before us to be proud of the program that we have built.”

July 31 2018

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