Queens University of Charlotte head men’s basketball coach, Grant Leonard, has announced the addition of two-time North Carolina State Champion coach, Gary Ellington, to his staff for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Ellington comes to Queens with a wealth of knowledge in his 16 years as a head coach at the high school level, leading Weddington High School to back-to-back North Carolina 4A state championships, going undefeated for two-straight seasons and earning North Carolina High School Coach of the Year in each season.
“Coach Ellington has a proven track record of building championship cultures, winning at the most elite levels, all while having players exude character to the highest degree,” said Coach Leonard. “We are very fortunate that Coach Ellington hs decided to join our family and we all look forward to giving our players an amazing experience these next few seasons!”
On top of the success at the State level, Ellington led his team to six conference regular season championships and five conference tournament championships since 2013, earning conference coach of the year seven times, including his final three seasons at the helm. In 16 seasons as a head coach, Ellington amassed a record of 285-139, and comes in off two-straight perfect seasons at Weddington, including a 31-0 run in 2022. This record also saw Weddington High School’s first national ranking be garnered in his final season as they peaked at #12 in the nation in 2022.
Ellington, a Raleigh native, saw success on the court as a player as well during his high school and college career. His 1995 Neuse Baptist Christian School team went 31-5 on the season and earned the No. 3 ranking in the Independent Schools national poll. He then took his talents to Louisburg College, where he graduated in 2002 after leading his team to a Region X title and a birth into the District 3 championship game.
After graduation, it didn’t take long for Ellington to find a home in the coaching ranks as he started as a graduate assistant for his alma mater, Louisburg College, under the tutelage of head coach, Enid Drake. Ellington then spent a few seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where he learned from the famed 49ers head coach, Bobby Lutz.
He has made his name synonymous with success in the state of North Carolina, as well as the surrounding region, both on and off the court. Ellington serves on the North Carolina Coaches Association Board of Directors as the District 6 representative for all boys’ and girls’ coaches in all sports. The former NJCAA standout also owns his own skill development program and runs camps for athletes trying to improve their game for the next level. He has also been an educator of young minds since 2006 as he is a dual-certified educator, serving as the social studies department chair at Weddington High School.