Davidson coach McKillop retires after 33 seasons


Bob McKillop is retiring after 33 seasons as Davidson‘s head coach, he announced on Friday.

McKillop’s son, Matt, who played at Davidson and has been an assistant coach under his father for the past 14 seasons, is being promoted to replace him.

“I think you know how my heart has been touched by Davidson, so I’ll be stepping away,” Bob McKillop said at a news conference. “And you may ask, ‘When did you decide this, Coach?’ Well, after each year, I analyze completely what we’re doing. How can we do it better? I’m in a constant quest to get better. Constant.

“It’s been an absolutely extraordinary privilege to be the head coach at Davidson College. I’ve come across people, I’ve come across friends, I’ve come across players, staff members, colleagues, that have just given me such a great opportunity to grow as a human being. It’s an extraordinary gift that you have all given to me. And I have much to be thankful for.”

McKillop, a Queens, New York, native, first found coaching success as a high school coach at Holy Trinity High School and Long Island Lutheran, both on Long Island. He spent one season as an assistant coach at Davidson in 1978-79 before returning to the Wildcats as the head coach in 1989.

Over the past 33 seasons, McKillop won 15 regular-season championships and made 10 NCAA tournament appearances, winning more than 600 games. He led Davidson to 13 division titles and seven conference tournament titles in the Southern Conference, then won two Atlantic 10 regular-season titles since the Wildcats changed conferences in 2014.

McKillop earned A-10 Coach of the Year honors last season after leading the Wildcats to a 27-7 record and an NCAA tournament appearance.

Davidson went to the Elite Eight in 2008 behind an incredible NCAA tournament performance from Stephen Curry, who led the 10-seed Wildcats to upset wins over Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin before falling to Kansas, 59-57, in the regional final. Before McKillop’s retirement announcement, Davidson announced it was retiring Curry’s jersey number at an August ceremony.

McKillop, 71, ends his college career with a 634-380 record.

Athletic director Chris Clunie announced Matt McKillop as his father’s replacement. He played in more than 100 games for the Wildcats from 2002 to 2006 and ranks in the top 10 in school history in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage. He joined Davidson’s coaching staff in 2008 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2016.

“You quickly come to realize that there’s only one logical choice,” Clunie said. “And it’s not because he’s Bob’s son, but it’s because he has the opportunity — as Bob just said — to make us better. To stand firm in this foundation and make it stronger.

“If Bob was the captain, this man was unquestionably the first mate.”





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