July 13, 1950 |
Queens, New York, USA
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Holy Trinity HS
Long Island Lutheran HS
|Accomplishments and honors|
SoCon Tournament Championship (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013)
SoCon Regular Season Championship (1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013)
SoCon Division Championship (1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013)
NABC Coach of the Year (2008)
Clair Bee Coach of the Year (2008)
SoCon Coach of the Year (1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013)
Born in Queens, New York, McKillop grew up in Queens and on Long Island and played for Chaminade High School in Mineola. McKillop went on to play college ball for East Carolina University before transferring to Hofstra University. At Hofstra he was named team MVP. After graduating in 1972 with a degree in history, he was briefly signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia 76ers, but was cut.
He then accepted a job teaching history and coaching basketball back on Long Island at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville. There, McKillop achieved an 86–25 record. In 1978 he became an assistant coach at Davidson for one year before returning to high school ball at Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School in Brookville. McKillop compiled a record there of 182–51, winning five New York State Championships.
In 1989, McKillop returned to Davidson as head coach. He has coached Davidson longer than any other, has won more games there than any coach, and his 230 Southern Conference wins are more than any coach in league history. He has been the SoCon Coach of the Year seven times, has won thirteen conference division titles, seven tournament championships, and taken his team to seven NCAA tournaments and four postseason NITs. All this winning hasn't come at any academic sacrifice, as 95 per cent of his Davidson lettermen have graduated. In 2006 the Wildcats won the Southern Conference tournament and went on to face No. 2 seeded Ohio St. in the NCAA tournament. Fifteenth seeded Davidson led 29–25 at halftime before falling 70–62. On January 27, 2007, McKillop reached 300 wins with a 79–59 victory over Western Carolina in Belk Arena. On February 26, 2011 he reached 400 wins with a 78-67 victory over UNC Greensboro.
Despite the recent success of the Wildcats, 2007 promised to be a rebuilding year, as McKillop lost seven seniors, accounting for 76% of scoring. Nevertheless, Davidson finished the year with an overall record of 24–4 and 17–1 in the SoCon. They were ranked 31st in the nation by the ESPN/USA Today poll and #4 among mid-majors. In the months of December, January and February, the Wildcats lost a total of one game.
On March 3, 2007, the Wildcats won their second straight Southern Conference Tournament Championship, and third in 5 years, an accomplishment that should silence critics who claimed McKillop could not win at tournament time. Davidson defeated College of Charleston 72–65, after waltzing past Furman and UT Chattanooga in the earlier rounds. In 2007, McKillop's Wildcats represented the Southern Conference in the NCAA tournament by battling number 4 seed Maryland losing by 12 at Buffalo.
In 2008, after compiling a perfect regular season conference record, the Wildcats ran their record to three straight Southern Conference Tournament Championships, beating Elon University in the title game. They entered the NCAA tournament as a 10-seed and took down 7-seed Gonzaga, for their first NCAA Tournament win since 1969. They then won their second-round game against the 2-seed Georgetown to advance to the Sweet 16. Almost a week after beating Georgetown, McKillop and Davidson stunned the world by upsetting the 3 seed and regular season Big Ten champions Wisconsin. This win put Davidson in the Elite Eight for the first time since Lefty Driesell got them there in 1969.
The 2008 season has been a testament to McKillop's recruiting prowess, as they have been carried by the shooting of Stephen Curry, who did not get a second look from most of the bigger programs.
McKillop and his wife, Cathy, have three children. Kerrin is a 2002 graduate of Davidson, while Matt is a 2006 Davidson graduate; he played for his father from 2003–2006, and earned four varsity letters. After assisting former Wildcat player and assistant coach Jason Zimmerman at Emory University in Atlanta, Matt has been named as an assistant coach to his father at Davidson College. The youngest McKillop, Brendan, graduated from Davidson in 2011 after a four-year career.
Several of McKillop's former assistants and players are currently head coaches or former head coaches at other schools:
- Matt Doherty (basketball), University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina, Florida Atlantic University, and Southern Methodist University former head coach
- Duggar Baucom, Virginia Military Institute current head coach
- Matt Matheny, Elon University current head coach
- Steve Shurina, Western Carolina University former head coach
- Tom Pecora, current Fordham Rams and former Hofstra Pride head coach
|Davidson (Independent) (1989–1990)|
|Davidson (Big South Conference) (1990–1992)|
|Davidson (Southern Conference) (1992–present)|
|1993–1994||Davidson||22–8||13–5||T–2nd||NIT First Round|
|1995–1996||Davidson||25–5||14–0||1st (North)||NIT First Round|
|1997–1998||Davidson||20–10||13–2||T–1st (North)||NCAA First Round|
|2001–2002||Davidson||21–10||11–5||T–1st (North)||NCAA First Round|
|2004–2005||Davidson||23–9||16–0||1st (South)||NIT Second Round|
|2005–2006||Davidson||20–11||10–5||2nd (South)||NCAA First Round|
|2006–2007||Davidson||29–5||17–1||1st (South)||NCAA First Round|
|2007–2008||Davidson||29–7||20–0||1st (South)||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2008–2009||Davidson||27–8||18–2||1st (South)||NIT Second Round|
|2010–2011||Davidson||18–15||10–8||4th (South)||CBI Quarterfinals|
|2011–2012||Davidson||25–8||16–2||1st (South)||NCAA Second Round|
|2012–2013||Davidson||26–7||17–1||1st (South)||NCAA Second Round|
National champion Conference regular season champion Conference tournament champion