ST. DAVIDS, Pa. -- Eastern University Director of Athletics Brad Fields announced that Nathan Stewart will join the Eastern University Athletics staff as the new head men's basketball coach and assistant director of athletic development. Stewart comes to Eastern from the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he served as an assistant coach for the Division I Retrievers for five years. Stewart assumes the leadership of a program that is scheduled to return all the bulk of its talent from last season.

“After an intense and thorough search process," Fields related,  "I am excited to announce Nathan Stewart as our next men’s basketball coach at Eastern University.  Our singular goal was to identity the absolute best candidate to positively impact the men’s basketball program, as well as our entire department.  We accomplished that goal with the hiring of Nate. He came highly recommended from some outstanding basketball minds, and throughout the interview process, it became clear to [the] search committee that Nate was the person God had for us to lead Eastern men’s basketball to new heights."

Stewart played collegiately at Division III Roanoke before starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Marshall. From Marshall, Stewart moved to Radford before taking a position with UMBC in 2006. While at UMBC, Stewart was part of a staff that led the Retrievers to an America East title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2008.

"With broad-based experience in both Division I and Division III," Fields continued,  "Nate demonstrated he has all the tools to be an excellent head coach, highlighted by a great attitude, a team-work mentality, an outstanding knowledge of basketball, a real desire and know-how to recruit aggressively, and a strong sense of values and faith with an emphasis in mentoring the ‘whole person.'"

While his role as head coach will be his most visible responsibility, Stewart will also take on significant responsibility as a point person for many of the department's development projects. Fields believed that Stewart has the ability and attitude to help the entire department to reach new levels.

"I would like to thank Brad Fields, Bettie Ann Brigham and the entire search committee," Stewart said,  "for placing their trust in me to lead the men's basketball program at Eastern University.  I am excited and grateful for this wonderful opportunity, I am looking forward to working with, and getting to know the current players at Eastern University.  I want the players in our program to grow each and every day academically, athletically and spiritually.  We want to compete for the Freedom Conference championship on a yearly basis. Our goal is to win championships!"

Stewart and his wife Lauren will transition to the area shortly, and Stewart will take over leadership of Eastern's summer camps. He becomes the fifth head men's basketball coach in the Division III history of the program. He replaces Matt Nadelhoffer, who led the program to double-figure wins in each of his nine seasons at the helm before departing in April to accept the head coaching position at Millikin University.

"Lastly," Fields concluded,  "I would like to take this time to thank Matt Nadelhoffer for his nine years of dedication in building the Eastern men’s basketball program as well as Ryan Livingston for serving as interim head coach during the transition phase.  We are blessed to have such outstanding people lay the foundation for the future.”