Mercy College Assistant Vice President for Athletics Matt Kilcullen, Jr. has announced the hiring of Chris Watts as the new Mercy College Head Men’s Basketball Coach. Watts is named head coach after serving as interim head coach since October 17, 2022.
“I am absolutely honored to be named the Head Men’s Basketball Coach here at Mercy. I would like to sincerely thank our leadership in Kevin Joyce, Matt Kilcullen, Bill Sullivan, Dawn Sachs, and the entire Mercy Athletic Department. In this last year as interim coach, every aspect of the support staff here at Mercy has been great. Our trainers, academic, athletics, and all support staff has been so appreciated. I am absolutely thrilled to continue to build and lead our men’s basketball program into the future,” stated Watts.
“Coach Watts demonstrated to us over the course of the season that he is well capable of taking our men’s basketball program to a higher level,” said Assistant VP of Athletics, Matt Kilcullen. “His energy, enthusiasm and passion for the student athletes was very evident in practices and during games. We eagerly look forward to the next chapter in men’s basketball!”
Watts served as the Interim Head Coach for the Mavericks during the 2022-23 season, overseeing the development of All-Conference performer Jayden Dewaal. Watts was previously assistant coach for the Mavericks during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons and served as Associate Head Coach for the University of Bridgeport during the 2021-22 season.
The native of Connecticut brings 26 years of basketball coaching experience to the Mavericks. Watts has previously worked at the NCAA College Basketball Academy and was the Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield, Connecticut from 2016-19. He led the Lancers to a 27-0 record and their first basketball championship in the school’s history. Watts was named the 2017 and 2018 Connecticut Post Coach of the Year and was named the USA Today’s Connecticut Coach of the Year in 2018.
Watts has also served as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Connecticut Elite AAU program and was the Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at St. Joseph College Preparatory High School in Trumbull, Connecticut from 2012-16.
Watts has worked with and played for legendary coaches such as Rick Barnes, Rick Pitino, Stu Jackson, Dan Gavitt, Herb Sendek, Fran Fraschilla and Jeff Van Gundy. He also played for Hall of Famer Vito Montelli at St. Joseph’s High School.
Watts graduated from Providence College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in History. While at Providence, Watts served as team captain in 1991 and was a four-year member of the men’s basketball team, making two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT appearance.