Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Bob McKillop has been coaching men’s basketball at Davidson for 20 years, racking up the most wins of any coach in Wildcat or Southern Conference history—340 victories, including 191 conference wins. His proudest statistic: 65 of 65 seniors have graduated during the McKillop era.
An Honored Coach
A seven-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year, McKillop begins the 2008–09 season with a list of new honors: 2008 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year; 2008 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Head Coach; 2008 National Association of Basketball Coaches National Coach of the Year; and winner of the 2008 Coach Clair Bee Award. And of course, he led the Wildcats to the NCAA Elite Eight tournament, coming within a single shot of the Final Four.
All the World’s a Stage
“We have a unique stage here at Davidson. Think about it—the fans are in the orchestra; the campus, and particularly the Belk Arena, is our set. The team—and I am including the coaching staff—are the cast and crew.” If not for basketball, McKillop might be leading another kind of elite team to victory—on Broadway. Those soaring songs and stories appeal to his dreamer’s vision—“I’ll occasionally listen to Camelot on my iPod when I run,” he says, “but I change the refrain to ‘Davidson! Davidson!’” So how do you coach around a star like Stephen Curry ’10? “It’s not hard if the star is humble and acts like a supporting cast member on the team. Steph is liked and respected. His teammates see how incredibly hard he works, and they know he wears the team on his heart.”
Davidson Has Changed Basketball
Success hasn’t changed Davidson, but McKillop believes that Davidson has changed college basketball. “We approach our program in a unique way. Here, basketball is a willing partner in the overall college mission. Our players are students first—not just in their classes, but in the life of the campus. When they look into the stands, they know the names of those students and staff and faculty who have come to cheer them on.... They have no sense of entitlement. And they’re involved in campus life—Steph and Steve Rossiter signed up to help with orientation move-in.”
“First, get better. That’s something we can control. Second, have fun. We can control that too. Then, play to win. That sounds simple, but when you come into a season after something like the Elite Eight experience, a team might play not to lose. So we’re going for success, not trying to avoid failure. Finally, realize that every play counts.” His personal goal? Bob McKillop aims high: the beautiful performance, the beautiful team, the beautiful season. “Our quest for excellence is the guiding light for all we do in Davidson basketball.”