Basketball - Men's
First Home Game December 3rd against
Head Coach: Daniel Willis
Experience: 19 Years
Classes Taught: PE
Career Highlights: Willis was the Hickory High quarterback for the NC State Championship in 1996, with the most passing touchdowns in a season (24) and the most passing career touchdowns (45). Willis is a well-rounded athlete having also played basketball and baseball during his Hickory High career. He was the Western Regional MVP in 1996 and 1997 in basketball as well as All Conference. In baseball, his team achieved the most wins in school history in the 1997 season and he played in the All Conference.
Earning his undergraduate degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Willis played basketball for Coach John Lentz at LRU, leading his team in saves in 1998 and he was honored as the LRU Athlete of the Year, 2001 and South Atlantic Conference Player of the year, 2001. He was twice selected as All-American and ended his career at LRU as the all-time leading scorer in conference history.
His career has been a whirlwind of coaching college athletics—not only serving The Citadel, but also Virginia Military Institute (Lexington, VA) as the Associate Head/Assistant Basketball Coach for ten years. At both institutions, Willis assisted in running every aspect of the programs. He recruited potential cadet-athletes, including making high school schedules to comply with NCAA rules and he served as the Academic Coordinator for the teams.
Prior to joining the coaching staff at VMI, Willis served as the Assistant Basketball Coach for Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN and as the Assistant Basketball Coach for Western Carolina University. Additionally, Willis served as the Assistant JV Coach at Hickory High, 2000-2001.
Willis has been recognized in the Sports Hall of Fame for Catawba Valley Sports (Class of 2020), Lenoir-Rhyne University (Class of 2014) and South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame (Class of 2010).
With an undergraduate degree from LRU in Sports Management (minor in Business Administration), Willis earned his Master’s in Physical Education from Western Carolina University.
Assistant Coach: Jovan Hoover