EMORY, VA-Emory & Henry Director of Athletics Myra Sims named 2004 Hampden-Sydney graduate David Willson the Wasps' new head men's basketball coach during a Wednesday press conference. Willson is the fifth coach to lead the Wasps since they joined the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in 1976.
"I am thrilled to join this wonderful community and look forward to getting to know so many wonderful people associated with our campus and program," commented Willson. "This is a place moving in an exciting direction with a new president and a committed faculty and staff."
Hampden-Sydney Head Coach Dee Vick recruited Willson to play for the Tigers and coached one year with him on the sidelines at William and Mary under Hall of Famer Tony Shaver.
"I am really happy for Dave and his family on their appointment to Emory & Henry College," noted Vick. "They are getting a man of great character who is prepared to lead his own program. It won't take Dave long to thrust E&H into the top half of the ODAC; his teams will be very prepared, fundamentally sound and will possess a 'will to win!'"
Willson comes to Emory & Henry after spending four years as an assistant coach at Furman University. Prior to his stint at Furman, Willson was an assistant at Elon from 2005-09, and his first coaching position was at William & Mary during the 2004-05 season.
"I know David from coaching him and coaching with him and can say that he is a great person that will do what is right and that he also has great basketball knowledge," Shaver said. "After being a Division I assistant for nine years, he knows that he wants to be a Division III coach. David is a great fit as he knows the ODAC and E&H, and I have a feeling that he will be there for a long time. I am really excited for him."
Willson spent three years with the Tigers after transferring in from Southern Methodist University. From 2001-04, Willson helped guide the Tigers to three NCAA tournaments, two ODAC Championships (2002, 04), and a 2003 Final Four appearance. As a senior, the captain earned Honorable Mention All-ODAC honors after averaging 10.7 points- and 7.1 rebounds-per-game.
Willson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Hampden-Sydney, which he earned in 2004. He is married to the former Anne Benham, who played volleyball and lacrosse at Sweet Briar College. The couple has two children, Maggie (four) and Ellie (two).