Keith Adkins has been named Lindsey Wilson College’s men’s basketball head coach, Lindsey Wilson athletics director Willis Pooler announced.
Adkins takes over for Paul Peck, who retired last week after more than 40 years of collegiate coaching. Adkins becomes the seventh coach in the program’s history since Lindsey Wilson became a four-year institution in 1987-88.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to be the next head men’s basketball coach at Lindsey Wilson College,” Adkins said. “I want to thank Dr. Bill Luckey (Lindsey Wilson president), Dr. Dean Adams (vice president for student services) and Willis Pooler for entrusting this program to my leadership.
“My family and I are extremely excited about being a part of this very special institution.”
In 18 seasons as a head coach, Adkins owns a 369-227 career record, including 11 20-win seasons. His teams won or shared three conference regular-season titles, three conference tournament crowns, and participated in 10 NAIA National Tournaments, including the last four.
Adkins was named the National Basketball Coaches Association-NAIA National Coach of the Year in 2014-15 and is a three-time Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year. He was selected by the Mid-South Conference’s administrative council as the 2016-17 MSC Coaching for Significance award recipient.
Adkins ranks 14th on the NAIA’s active coaches’ wins list.
“I am incredibly excited that Coach Adkins is joining our staff,” Pooler said. “He’s an outstanding coach whose accomplishments in the NAIA and Mid-South Conference are well documented.
“He is a high-character individual, who understands our mission and will provide excellent direction to our student-athletes,” Pooler added. “I am looking forward to working with him and supporting his efforts as he leads our men’s basketball program.”
Adkins is very familiar with the Mid-South Conference — spending the last two seasons at Life (Ga.) and the previous 19 seasons at Campbellsville (Ky.).
He compiled a 47-23 record at Life while reaching two NAIA National Tournaments, including playing in the 2017 NAIA National Championship game. He guided the Running Eagles to the 2016-17 Mid-South Conference regular season and tournament titles before falling to Texas Wesleyan 86-76 in the national finals.
Last season, Adkins led Life to 21-12 overall record, reaching the NAIA National Tournament second round. It marked the four consecutive season Adkins’ teams reached at least the round of 16. He has averaged more than 25 wins over the last four seasons.
Prior to coaching at Life, Adkins spent 16 seasons as Campbellsville’s head coach following a three-year stint as an assistant coach for the Tigers. He was also an assistant coach at North Carolina-Greensboro for two seasons and at Pikeville (Ky.) for one season.
Adkins is excited to bring his coaching experience to Lindsey Wilson and building on the foundation left by Peck.
“I truly believe this is one of the best jobs in NAIA basketball,” Adkins said. “Coach Peck had an incredible amount of success over the past 16 years and I know he leaves the program in great shape. It is an honor to take over where he left off and my goal is to bring the same type of success on and off the floor.”
During his time at Campbellsville, Adkins won 322 games; including leading the Tigers to a 29-6 record in 2014-15 — a single-season program record for wins.
The Tigers — who enjoyed a three-week stay at No. 1 in the NAIA poll that season — swept the Mid-South Conference regular season and tournament titles while reaching the national tournament’s round of 16.
Adkins led Campbellsville and Life to the NAIA Fab Four (national semifinals) in back-to-back seasons in 2016 and 2017.
Campbellsville entered the 2016 national tournament as a No. 6 seed and proceeded to upset two higher-seeded teams before falling to the eventual national champion in the Fab Four. Life — a No. 3 seed in the 2017 tournament — knocked off a pair of No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 seed en route to the title game.
During the 2016-17 season, Adkins coached the MSC and NAIA National Player of the Year. He has coached five conference players of the year, 32 all-Americans and 33 All Mid-South Conference performers.
Adkins, a Paintsville, Ky., native, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He played two seasons at UNC Wilmington after beginning his collegiate playing career at the University of Notre Dame.
Adkins and his wife, Vanessa, have four children: Ashley, Bradley, Sarah, and Luke.
“Having spent nearly 20 years in this area and over 20 years in this conference, I am familiar with what comes with this opportunity,” Adkins said. “I’m excited for the chance to work at a place that has won the past seven Mid-South Conference President’s Cups and for an administration that puts a great deal of support into their athletic programs.
“Lindsey Wilson accomplishments on the conference and national levels say a lot about the leadership and commitment to being successful,” Adkins added. “I can’t wait to get started.”