SOUTHALL AT A GLANCE:
Alma Mater: Springfield College (2002)
Record at Elms: 48-83 (.366)
NECC Record: 42-35 (.545)
Seasons at Elms: 5
Hired as head coach of the men’s basketball team prior to the 2013-14 season, Rob Southall has posted a 48-83 record and a 42-35 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) record. He has qualified for the NECC tournament in five of his first six seasons as head coach.
The Blazers finished the 2017 campaign with a 4-22 record and a 4-10 NECC record. They matched up against fourth seeded Mitchell in the NECC tournament quarter finals where their season would come to an end. Blazers Freshman Greg Metelus took home NECC Rookie of the Year honors for the 2017 season after averaging 15.8 points per game.
During the 2014-15 season, the Blazers posted a 14-13 overall record and a 12-4 mark in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), earning the second seed in the conference postseason tournament. After dropping three tight-knit contests to open the season, the Blazers registered their first win in an 81-66 victory over Springfield College. Elms recorded the program’s first-ever win over Rhode Island College, 78-60 and a 101-61 drubbing of Mitchell College to collect their first NECC victory of the season. Elms rattled off five straight conference triumphs, including road wins at Becker College and Newbury College. Elms wrapped up their conference slate with wins over Newbury and Lesley University to secure the number two seed in the conference tournament. The Blazers battled Becker in the NECC Semifinals, but suffered an 88-79 loss to the Hawks. Elms earned a berth in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) DIII New England Tournament and clashed with Pine Manor College in a 127-124 double-overtime loss.
Elms posted an 11-14 overall record and a 10-6 mark in NECC action in Southall’s second season, earning the third seed in the conference postseason tournament. After a slow start, the Blazers opened their NECC schedule with back-to-back road wins at Wheelock College and reigning NECC Champion Mitchell College. Elms continued their roll through league play with home victories over Wheelock and Becker College. The Blazers pushed their conference win streak to five straight after a thrilling triple overtime 92-90 win at Regis. Elms closed out their conference slate going 4-6 in their final ten games. The Blazers were seeded third in the NECC Tournament, and drew sixth-seeded Daniel Webster in the opening round. The first round battle went to overtime, where the Blazers fell on last second free throws by the Eagles, 76-75.
In his first season, the Elms College men’s basketball team posted a 12-4 record in NECC action, earning the first seed in the conference postseason tournament for the second straight season. The Blazers won seven of their final eight games of the regular season to capture the top seed in the NECC Championship tournament and earn a first round bye. Elms played an overtime thriller with fifth-seeded Regis College in the semifinal round in a rematch of the 2013 tournament final. The Blazers notched an 81-71 victory and advanced to its sixth straight championship game. Elms hosted second-seeded Mitchell College and, following a thrilling back-and-forth championship contest, suffered a 72-71 defeat to the Mariners. The Blazers, who finished the season 15-12 overall, garnered a bid to the ECAC Division III New England Championship.
Under Southall’s watch, eight men’s basketball student-athlete have earned All-Conference honors, including 2015-16 Player of the Year Jerry Buchanon, along with eight student-athletes being recognized as Academic All-Conference selections.
Hired in the fall of 2013, Southall took the reins of the Blazers’ men’s basketball team after an eight-year stint as a full time assistant coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). During his time at WPI, the Engineers enjoyed tremendous success with Coach Southall on the bench compiling a 178-44 record with six New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season championships as well as the 2005-06 and 2012-13 NEWMAC tournament championships, six appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship and the 2011-12 ECAC Division III New England Championship title. WPI also notched 20 or more wins in each of Coach Southall’s eight seasons on staff under head coach Chris Bartley.
Prior to his time at WPI, Coach Southall spent a season assisting Joe Reilly at Bates College and helped guide the team to one of its best seasons in school history (19-8). Bates reached the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship tournament final before falling to Amherst College.
A 2002 graduate of Springfield College, Coach Southall played basketball for two seasons and was a graduate assistant coach for the Pride under head coach Charlie Brock for two years. At Springfield, he was also the head junior varsity basketball coach and was heavily involved in recruiting and game preparation. Coach Southall also obtained a master’s degree from Springfield in 2004.