Four-Year Extension for Willis Wilson at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Department of Athletics and head men’s basketball coach Willis Wilson have agreed to a four-year contract extension, Director of Athletics Scott Lazenby announced today. The deal will keep Wilson, who has led the Islanders to back-to-back trips to the postseason, under contract through the end of the 2018-19 season.

“Willis has done an outstanding job of upgrading the character and quality of our men’s basketball program in his four years at the Island University,” Lazenby said. “People often talk about the turnaround that his program has made, but the upgrades in terms of academics and living up to the ideals of the Islander Way are just as impressive. Our basketball program is in good hands with Willis at the helm.”

The Islanders have improved their winning percentage in each of Wilson’s four seasons, including last year’s 20-win campaign. A&M-Corpus Christi has established itself as an annual contender for the Southland Conference championship, finishing in the top three in each of the last two years.

The extension is pending approval of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

“We have made some positive strides in the last four years and I’m proud of how far the program has come,” Wilson said. “With the caliber of people we have in our program – from our coaching staff to our student-athletes – Islanders Basketball is poised to take a big step forward in the coming years and continue our march toward the top of the Southland Conference and multiple NCAA Tournament berths. I’m excited to see this program climb to the heights I know it can achieve.”

In the 2014-15 season, the Islanders posted the strongest campaign in recent memory, notching 20 wins for the first time since the 2006-07 team won the Southland championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. This year’s Islanders went 13-5 in conference play to finish third, and were the only team to defeat both champion Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State.

A&M-Corpus Christi again advanced to the Southland Tournament semifinals and earned a spot in the College Insider Tournament for the second year in a row. This time, the team knocked off Florida Gulf Coast before hosting the first postseason home game in program history, against Kent State, in the second round.

Wilson also earned a personal milestone, as the bench boss picked up his 250th career win in the first game of the season. The 20-win campaign was his first since 2003-04 as a head coach. His team finished strong for the second year in a row, winning six of the last seven contests to enter the Southland Conference Tournament on a hot streak thanks to outstanding defense.

Wilson, who was named the 2014 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year as Division I’s top minority coach, has seen strong development of his players, including 2015 All-Southland selections John Jordan and Rashawn Thomas. The Islanders have a group of eight seniors expected to take the court for the 2015-16 season.

Photo Courtesy Texas A&M Corpus Christi Athletics

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