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Bob McKillop retires as Davidson basketball coach after 33 seasons

Longtime Davidson men's basketball coach Bob McKillop cheers on his team during a 2019 home game against Duquesne.
Mitchell Northam
Longtime Davidson men's basketball coach Bob McKillop cheers on his team during a 2019 home game against Duquesne.

Stephen Curry was the Davidson College graduate to make headlines Thursday when he won his fourth NBA championship.

On Friday, it was his former head coach making news.

Longtime Davidson coach Bob McKillop is retiring, ending a run that included coaching Curry and ranking among the all-time winningest active coaches in Division I men's college basketball.

McKillop announced his retirement Friday at a campus news conference, effective at the end of the month. His son — associate head coach and former Wildcats player Matt McKillop — will take over as coach after working on his father’s staff as an assistant since 2008.

The retirement announcement came shortly after athletic director Chris Clunie said Davidson would make Curry’s No. 30 the first number retired by the school after he earned his degree this year, 13 years after he left school early for the pros and one day after Curry won his fourth NBA Finals — and first Finals MVP — with Golden State.

Bob McKillop won 634 games in his 33 seasons with the Wildcats, now in the Atlantic-10 Conference. The school named its court after McKillop in 2014.

McKillop's run included a trip to the Elite Eight in 2008 behind Curry’s dazzling play before falling to eventual NCAA champion Kansas. His final team won 27 games in the 2021-22 season before losing a one-point game to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in March.

“Love you Coach!” Curry posted on Twitter.

McKillop, 71, was born in Queens, New York, and played his college basketball at East Carolina and Hofstra. He first came to Davidson in 1978, working as an assistant coach. After a decade of coaching high school basketball in Long Island, he returned to become the head coach of the Wildcats in 1989.

Under the direction of McKillop, the Wildcats won 13 conference titles — 11 in the SoCon and two in the A-10 — and went to 10 NCAA Tournaments and eight NIT's.

McKillop ranks in the top 60 all-time for wins by a Division I men's college basketball coach. Only 12 still-active head coaches rank ahead of him.

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Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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