Men's Basketball

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Billy Donlon
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: UNC Wilmington
Graduating Year: 1999
Experience: 5 Years
Phone: 937-775-2835
Email: billy.donlon@wright.edu
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Donlon Photos
Billy Donlon Biography
Courtesy: WSU Athletic Media Relations
Release: 08/01/2010

2013 Horizon League Coach of the Year

On April 14, 2010, Billy Donlon officially took over the Wright State University men's basketball program after four years as the WSU associate head coach, and he has not taken a breath. The eighth head coach in the history of Wright State basketball has become a popular speaker on and off campus with his enthusiastic message--Wright State is the place to be.

He immediately went to work to shape the Raider program for years to come through recruiting, scheduling and hiring the right assistants.

The 2013-14 season saw the Raiders place third in the Horizon League, then advance to its second straight championship game.  AJ Pacher was named second team while Matt Vest was placed on the League's All Defensive Team.  Vest, Pacher and Cole Darling have all signed professional contracts in Europe to continue their playing careers.The Raiders also received a bid to the College Insider Tournament (CIT) where it advanced to the quarterfinals.

Donlon was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year as his Raiders in 2013, picked to finish last, took the third seed in the League Tournament and finished the season at 23-13, 10-6, tying the school record for Division I wins and advancing to the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).  Donlon was also named a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award and the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award given to the nation’s top Mid-Major coach.

Not one to back away from a challenge, Donlon took his team to Italy in August, 2011 and inked deals to play Ohio State and Florida as well as home games against Cincinnati and Charlotte in the 2011-12 season to form one of the toughest non-league schedules in WSU history.  That season included one of his players being named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year.  In 2013, his defense ranked as high as 16th nationally as Cole Darling received All-Horizon League honors.

Donlon, a native of Northbrook, Illinois, outside of Chicago, spent four years on current Clemson head coach Brad Brownell's staff at Wright State. Before coming to WSU in the spring of 2006, he was an assistant for Brownell at UNC-Wilmington for four seasons. During his eight years with Brownell, Donlon helped guide their teams to three NCAA Tournaments, including in 2007 with the Raiders. During the four years at WSU, the Raiders won at least 20 games each season under Brownell.

"Coach Donlon brings  a wealth of knowledge and experience as we continue to build our overall program," said Wright State Director of Athletics Bob Grant. "We have great confidence that Billy will bring our program and take Raider basketball to another level of success."

Donlon, a former UNCW star, played an integral role in the success at Wilmington and Wright State. Donlon returned to his alma mater after completing a professional playing career in Germany and coaching stints at American and St. Peter's.

During his time in the coaching ranks, Donlon has worked in all areas of coaching, including floor coaching, scouting, planning practice, recruiting, scheduling and public relations. The exuberant 33-year-old has been a major part of every area, especially during the four seasons as the Raider assistant, posting an 84-45 overall record. WSU's league record of 49-21 set a new four-year mark for Raider teams.

Over this period, he has helped develop four all-league players, four named to the all-defensive team and two selected to the newcomer team as well as Horizon League Player of the Year DaShaun Wood in 2007.

Donlon received one of the Colonial Athletic Association's most prestigious honors in his senior year. He was selected as the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Award for Leadership, presented annually to the player who embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship through academic and athletic achievements.

Donlon began his coaching career as an assistant at American in 1999-00 and then moved on to St. Peter's for one season in 2000-01.

Donlon played professionally in Bourg en Bresse in France and with the Avitos Giesssen team in Giessen, Germany. In May 2001, he returned to the court as the starting point guard for the Irish National Team.

Donlon Year-by-Year at Wright State

Year
Overall
League
Post
Season 
2010-11
19-14 10-8  
2011-12
13-19 7-11  
2012-13 23-13 10-6 CBI
2013-14 21-15 10-6 CIT
Totals
76-61
37-31
 


Donlon Notes

Personal:

Hometown:
Northbrook, IL
Birthdate: Feb. 10, 1977
Education: BA History UNCW, 1999

Experience:
Assistant Coach, American:
1999-00
Assistant Coach, St. Peter's: 2000-01
Assistant Coach, UNC Wilmington: 2001-2006
Associate Head Coach, Wright State: 2006-2010
Head Coach, Wright State: Named April 14, 2010


What Others Are Saying About Donlon...

"Billy has been around the game his entire life. He was always a coach on the floor as a player who is why I'm not surprised he has turned into an outstanding coach. His basketball pedigree with his father and the coaches whom he played for and coached under is very impressive. His passion for the game is second to none. He really relates well to the players and has a great knowledge of the game. Billy has an amazing future ahead of him. Wright State is lucky to have him as their Head Coach."-Chris Collins, Northwestern Head Coach

"I've known Billy since he was a young kid during my time at Providence College. Billy comes from a great, great family and has been around basketball his entire life. He's a terrific person, a terrific coach, and I know he will do an outstanding job at Wright State."- Billy Donovan, Head Coach, University of Florida

"Bill Donlon is what so many student-athletes should look for in their future coach. He not only knows the game, but is able to teach it.  The poise, basketball IQ, and work habit he had as a player is now an everyday part of his coaching philosophy. I love to talk basketball with Bill whenever I see him!"- John Beilein, Head Coach, University of Michigan