Bob McKillop has lived a basketball life, and in the process, built a Hall of Fame resume.
In 33 years coaching at Davidson College, McKillop spurred the program’s regional and national resurgence, led the Wildcats to new heights in a highly competitive basketball-centric conference and coached one of the world’s premier athletes, Stephen Curry.
The final numbers help paint the picture for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame nominee.
McKillop’s Davidson teams won 23 conference championships, including 15 regular season crowns. They made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a magical, Curry-led run to the 2008 Elite Eight. Seventeen of his Davidson teams won at least 20 games, while seven won 25 or more. He finished with 634 victories at the Division I college level.
In all, McKillop-coached teams reached postseason play 19 times — the NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2002, 2006-08, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2022, the NIT in 1994, 1996, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2021, and the CBI in 2011.
The 2007-08 NABC National Coach of the Year, McKillop led Davidson to the 2008 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Championship game — the program’s third Elite Eight appearance but first in four decades — with victories over nationally ranked foes Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. The Wildcats' unbelievable run ended with a two-point loss to eventual national champion Kansas, and Davidson finished the campaign with a final ranking of ninth in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Along with tying the school's single-season record for wins with 29, the Wildcats strung together 25 consecutive victories, the longest streak in the nation, before falling to the Jayhawks on the doorstep of the Final Four.
McKillop’s final Davidson team was one of his best.
The 2021-22 Wildcats went 27-7, their second-most wins in a season, which included a program-best 15-3 Atlantic 10 Conference record. McKillop earned his 11th Conference Coach of the Year Award (2 — A-10, 9 — SoCon) while leading the program to its second at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
In 2014-15, McKillop navigated the program’s move into the A-10, and his Wildcats won the regular season title in their debut season. Picked 12th in the league’s preseason poll, Davidson won its final nine conference games to finish on top and pave the way for the program’s first-ever at-large NCAA selection.
In eight seasons in the Atlantic 10, McKillop’s teams won two regular season titles (2015, 2022), a tournament crown (2018) and totaled 91 league wins, while advancing to postseason play six times (3 – NCAA, 3 – NIT).
For 22 years, McKillop's teams competed in the Southern Conference where they put together one of the most remarkable runs in league history. From 1992-2014, Davidson won 447 games, including a 278-88 record against league competition, making McKillop the most decorated coach in the conference's 100-year existence.
Along with winning 13 regular season titles and seven tournament crowns as members of the SoCon, the 'Cats went undefeated in league play three times under McKillop, highlighted by a 20-0 record in 2007-08. Davidson had a 43-game conference win streak from 2007-09, one off the SoCon record and the eighth longest in NCAA history.
On Feb. 1, 2014, during a pregame ceremony celebrating McKillop's 25th season, Davidson College administrators announced the basketball court inside John M. Belk Arena would be named "McKillop Court" in his honor.
McKillop coached his 1,000th career game at Davidson on January 29, 2022, becoming just the 10th coach in NCAA Division I history to reach the milestone at one school.
McKillop's teams were successful off the court as well. He had a perfect Academic Progress Rate of 1.000 each year since the NCAA began tracking it in 2003.
A 1972 graduate of Hofstra, McKillop has coached eight All-Americans, an Academic All-American, 11 Conference Players of the Year, five Freshmen of the Year and 73 all-conference selections.
Fifty-seven of his players have gone on to play professionally, including Curry, the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA draft, who has led the Golden State Warriors to four NBA titles while earning back-to-back NBA MVP honors.
Long known for his connections around the globe, McKillop has coached more than 40 international players from 24 different countries.
An inductee into the Hofstra Basketball and NYC Basketball Hall of Fame, McKillop was signed by the Philadelphia 76ers before becoming a history teacher and coach.
A native of Queens, N.Y., McKillop began his coaching career at Holy Trinity High School (1973-78) on Long Island, where he achieved an 86-25 record. In 1978, he joined Eddie Biedenbach's staff at Davidson as an assistant coach before returning to New York a year later to serve as the head coach at Long Island Lutheran (1979-89). There, McKillop compiled a mark of 182-51 to go along with five New York state championships.
On May 19, 1989, McKillop was hired as the head coach at Davidson by then-Director of Athletics Terry Holland.
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 McKillops have six grandchildren: Maggie, Claire, Jack, Hazel, Rosie Marie and Charlie.
THE MCKILLOP FILE
· Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Nominee
· 2008 NABC National Coach of the Year
· 2008 Coach Clair Bee Award
· 11-Time Conference Coach of the Year
· 2007 & 2008 Hugh Durham Award Finalist
· New York City Basketball Hall of Fame
· 2017 Joe Lapchick Character Award Recipient
· 2019 USBWA Dean Smith Award
· 2022 Naismith Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List
Overall Record: 902-486
Davidson College Record: 634-380 (33 seasons)
Holy Trinity & Long Island Lutheran High School Record: 268-106
Conference Record: 381-148
vs. Big South: 12-14 | vs. Southern Conference: 278-88 | vs. Atlantic 10 Conference: 91-46
Conference Tournament Record: 44-21
Postseason Record: 7-19
NCAA Tournament: 3-10 | NIT: 3-8 | CBI: 1-1
Postseason Appearances: 19
NCAA Tournament: 10 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2022)
NIT: 8 (1994, 1996, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021)
CBI: 1 (2011)
Conference Tournament Resume
Conference Regular-Season Titles: 15
Southern Conference: 13 (1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Atlantic 10 Conference: 2 (2015, 2022)
Conference Tournament Titles: 8 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2018)
Southern Conference: 7 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013)
Atlantic 10 Conference: 1 (2018)