|Team record||383-248 (.602)|
|Born||July 13, 1950|
|Place of birth||Queens, New York|
|SoCon Tournament Championship (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007)|
|SoCon Coach of the Year (1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2005)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Holy Trinity HS
Long Island Lutheran HS
Born in Queens, New York, McKillop grew up in Queens and on Long Island and played for Chaminade High School in Mineola. McKillop went on to play college ball for East Carolina University before transferring to Hofstra University. At Hofstra he was named team MVP. After graduating in 1972 with a degree in history, he was briefly signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia 76ers, but was cut.
He then accepted a job teaching history and coaching basketball back on Long Island at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville. There, McKillop achieved an 86-25 record. In 1978 he became an assistant coach at Davidson for one year before returning to high school ball at Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School in Brookville. McKillop compiled a record there of 182-51, winning five New York State Championships.
In 1989, McKillop returned to Davidson, this time as head coach. He's coached Davidson longer than any basketball coach, has won more games there than any coach, and his 144 Southern Conference wins are more than any coach in league history. He's been the SoCon Coach of the Year six times, has won eight conference division titles, three tournament championships, and taken his team to three NCAA tournaments and three postseason NITs. All this winning hasn't come at any academic sacrifice, as 95 percent of his Davidson lettermen have graduated. In 2006 the Wildcats won the Southern Conference tournament and went on to face No. 2 seeded Ohio St. in the NCAA tournament. Fifteenth seeded Davidson led 29-25 at halftime before falling 70-62. On January 27th, 2007, McKillop reached 300 wins with a 79-59 victory over Western Carolina in Belk Arena. Littered among these many wins, though, are numerous postseason disappointments - losses to inferior teams that the more talented Wildcats should have handled easily. McKillop has never been held accountable for these disappointing postseason performances.
Despite the recent success of the Wildcats, 2007 promised to be a rebuilding year, as McKillop lost seven seniors, accounting for 76% of scoring. Nevertheless, Davidson finished the year with an overall record of 24-4 and 17-1 in the SoCon. They were ranked 31st in the nation by the ESPN/USA Today poll and #4 among mid-majors. In the months of December, January and February, the Wildcats lost a total of one game.
On March 3, 2007, the Wildcats won their second straight Southern Conference Tournament Championship, and third in 5 years, an accomplishment that should silence critics who claimed McKillop couldn't win at tournament time. Davidson defeated College of Charleston 72-65, after waltzing past Furman and UT Chattanooga in the earlier rounds. In 2007, McKillop's Wildcats represented the Southern Conference in the NCAA tournament by battling Number 4 seed Maryland losing by 12 at Buffalo.
In 2008, after compiling a perfect regular season conference record, the Wildcats ran their record to three straight Southern Conference Tournament Championships, beating Elon University in the title game. They entered the NCAA tournament as a 10 seed and took down 7 seed Gonzaga, for their first NCAA Tournament win since 1969. They then won their second-round game against the 2 seed Georgetown to advance to the Sweet 16. Almost a week after beating Georgetown, McKillop and Davidson stunned the world by upsetting the 3 seed and regular season Big Ten champions Wisconsin. This win put Davidson in the Elite Eight for the first time since Lefty Driesell got them there in 1969.
The 2008 season was a testament to McKillop's good fortune, as they've been carried by the shooting of Stephen Curry, who didn't get a second look from most of the bigger programs. Unfortunately, this good fortunate has proven illusory, as the departure of Curry (and even his junior season) has further proven McKillop to be among the most mediocre postseason coaches in basketball. The record shows that Davidson has lost to teams seeded lower than them in the Southern Conference during eight of the past twelve seasons - a record that calls into question the record of a coach that benefits from the best facilities and largest budget in his conference.
Coach McKillop and his wife Kathy have three children. Kerrin is a 2002 graduate of Davidson. Matt is a 2006 Davidson graduate. Matt played for his father from 2003-2006, and earned four varsity letters. After assisting former Wildcat player and assistant coach Jason Zimmerman at Emory University in Atlanta, Matt has been named as an assistant coach to his father at Davidson College. The youngest McKillop, Brendan, is a current junior basketball player for his father's team at Davidson.
|Davidson (Independent) (1989–1990)|
|Davidson (Big South Conference) (1990–1992)|
|Davidson (Southern Conference) (1992–present)|
|1993–1994||Davidson||22-8||13-5||2nd||NIT 1st Round|
|1995–1996||Davidson||25-5||14-0||1st (North)||NIT 1st Round|
|1997–1998||Davidson||20-10||13-2||T-1st (North)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2001–2002||Davidson||21-10||11-5||T-1st (North)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2004–2005||Davidson||23-9||16-0||1st (South)||NIT 3rd Round|
|2005–2006||Davidson||20-11||10-5||2nd (South)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2006–2007||Davidson||29-5||17-1||1st (South)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2007–2008||Davidson||29-7||20-0||1st (South)||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2008-2009||Davidson||27-8||18-2||1st(South)||NIT 2nd Round|
National Champion Conference Regular Season Champion Conference Tournament Champion