Davidson's Bob McKillop Retiring; Coached Steph Curry's March Madness Run

Adam WellsJune 17, 2022

GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 18: Head coach Bob McKillop of the Davidson Wildcats reacts to the game against the Michigan State Spartans during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 18, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Bob McKillop's 33-season run as head men's basketball coach at Davidson has come to an end.

The 71-year-old announced his retirement Friday.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who played for the Wildcats from 2006 to 2009, thanked his college coach for the impact he made on his life:

Stephen Curry @StephenCurry30

Love you Coach! Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, my family, Davidson and every person you’ve impacted along the way. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TCC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TCC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/greatdaytobeawildcat?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#greatdaytobeawildcat</a> <a href="https://t.co/hG266yUyst">https://t.co/hG266yUyst</a>

McKillop played college basketball at East Carolina (1967-68) and Hofstra (1970-72). He began his coaching career in 1973 at Holy Trinity High School in Long Island, New York.

Eddie Biedenbach, who coached at Davidson from 1978 to 1981, hired McKillop as an assistant for one season in 1978-79. McKillop went back to coaching high school basketball in Long Island for 10 seasons.

The Wildcats hired McKillop as their head coach in 1989. The New York native went 4-24 in his first season with the program and didn't post a winning record until the 1993-94 campaign.

McKillop led Davidson to 15 regular-season conference titles and eight conference tournament titles between the Southern Conference and Atlantic 10.

The Wildcats made the NCAA tournament 10 times under McKillop. The 2007-08 season was the most successful in program history. They went 29-7 (20-0 in the Southern Conference), made the NCAA tournament as a No. 10 seed and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to eventual national champion Kansas.

Curry had his breakout moment on a national stage during that run. He averaged 32.0 points per game and shot 44.2 percent from three-point range in four games. The Jayhawks' 59-57 win over Davidson was their smallest margin of victory in the tournament.

Davidson lost to Michigan State, 74-73, in the first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament in what turned out to be McKillop's final game.

McKillop retires with a 634-380 career record in 1,014 games. He ranks 54th in NCAA history for wins as a men's Division I head coach.