top of page

McKillop One of Three to Receive Lapchick Character Award

Joey Beeler,

May 20, 2017

An award given annually to celebrate what is good in the game of basketball by honoring those who have demonstrated honorable character throughout their careers much like the legendary Coach Joe Lapchick.

NEW YORK (AP) — Bob McKillop, about to start his 29th season as coach at Davidson, and TV analysts Bill Raftery and Doris Burke have been chosen for the 2017 Lapchick Character Award.

The three will be honored on Oct. 6 at a luncheon in New York to celebrate the life of Joe Lapchick, a Hall of Fame coach with St. John's and the New York Knicks, who was known for his compassion and integrity off the court.

Click here to read the entire USA Today story.

The Lapchick Award was first presented in 2008. Previous winners include Naismith Hall of Famers Mike Krzyzewski, Lou Carnesecca, Dean Smith, Pat Summitt, John Thompson Jr., Bob Hurley Sr., Pete Carril, Jody Conradt, Morgan Wootten, Pete Newell, C.M. Newton, Don Haskins and Kay Yow.

Davidson Sports Information

Born in Queens, N.Y., McKillop grew up on Long Island where he played basketball and baseball for Chaminade High School (Class of 1967) in Mineola, where he was recently presented with the school's Distinguished Alumnus Award at the New York Athletic Club. 

After graduating from Hofstra in 1972, he accepted a job teaching history and coaching basketball at Holy Trinity High School where he posted a record of 86-25.

Following a year as an assistant coach on Eddie Biedenbach's staff at Davidson College, McKillop returned to New York as the head coach at Long Island Lutheran. From 1979-89, McKillop compiled a record of 182-51, while winning five New York State Championships.

In 1989, McKillop was hired as the head coach at Davidson, where he just completed his 28th season at the helm.

The 2007-08 NABC National Coach of the Year led Davidson to the 2008 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Championship game with victories over Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. The Wildcats' unbelievable run ended with a two-point loss to eventual champion Kansas, and Davidson finished the campaign with a final ranking of ninth in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.

The Wildcats' 2016 NIT appearance marked the 15th postseason berth under McKillop — the NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2002, 2006-08, 2012, 2013, 2015 and the NIT in 1994, 1996, 2005, 2009, 2014 and 2016. McKillop-coached teams have won 14 regular season titles (13 SoCon, 1 A-10), seven SoCon tournament crowns, reached the 20-win plateau 14 times, and six have won 25 or more games.

The 10-time Conference Coach of the Year has won more games in Davidson and league history than any other coach thanks to an all-time mark of 533-328. Entering the 2016-17 campaign, his victory total ranked 24th on the NCAA's list of Division I winningest active coaches. McKillop also ranks sixth among active coaches on the NCAA's list of most seasons with their current school and is one of six on that list who has spent their entire careers at that school.

Fifty-three of his players have gone on to play professionally, including Stephen Curry, the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA draft, who led the Golden State Warriors to the 2015 NBA Championship while earning back-to-back NBA MVP honors.

An inductee into the Hofstra Basketball and NYC Basketball Hall of Fame, McKillop was signed by the Philadelphia 76ers before beginning his coaching career at Holy Trinity.

McKillop and his wife Cathy have three children — Kerrin, a 2002 Davidson graduate, Matt, a member of the 2006 NCAA Tournament team and 2006 graduate, and Brendan, a member of the 2008 Elite Eight team and a 2011 graduate. The McKillop's have four grandchildren, Maggie, Claire, Jack and Hazel.

Comments from Davidson College President Carol Quillen

"Strength of character forms the core of how Bob McKillop operates, and there is no greater evidence than the integrity of the talented young men who learn under his coaching. He earns this award every day."  

bottom of page