Longwood Basketball Staff Update

Longwood Men’s Basketball Head Coach Griff Aldrich announced Marty McGillan has been promoted to the role of Associate Head Coach along with the addition of Assistant Coach Taylor Land, Director of Player Development Jaime Smith and Video Coordinator Odri Dedolli to the men’s basketball staff.
McGillan enters his sixth year on the Lancer bench, and he has helped guide Lancer basketball to new heights during his five seasons in Farmville. Since McGillan arrived, the Lancers have won a Big South regular season and tournament title, and the team has won 20 games in each of the past two seasons for the first time in program history.
“Marty has been an instrumental part of building the program at Longwood,” Aldrich said. “An excellent teacher, evaluator and teammate, I could not have asked for a better partner to help lead this program when I arrived in Farmville in 2018.  I am grateful for what he and Tee have contributed to Longwood over the past five years and look forward to his further investment in our players, staff and program in the years ahead.”
Land brings more than a decade of experience in the collegiate coaching ranks to the staff. Smith boasts nine years of professional playing experience in addition to his decade-plus of time as a coach and trainer of athletes at all levels. Dedolli recently finished as an administrative staff member at East Tennessee State University, and he brings global experience to the Lancers as well.
“We are thrilled to welcome Taylor, Jaime and Odri to the staff,” Aldrich said. “Each brings a unique skillset and life experience that will positively impact the development of our players and program. More importantly, these men also reflect in their lives the values we seek to promote through Longwood Basketball—and I could not be more excited to have them represent our program and University in the days ahead!”
Land comes to Longwood with a wealth of experience on the sidelines as both a player and a coach. He has worked as an assistant for more than a decade across multiple levels, and he played professionally following his collegiate playing career.
Most recently, Land served as an assistant coach at the University of Incarnate in San Antonio, Texas. During that time, he helped lead the team to its first berth in the Southland Conference Tournament in program history in 2021 with a team that was one of the top three-point shooting outfits in the country.
Last season, the UIW program set a record with 259 steals while also matching a program record for the longest win streak against Division I opponents. The team also had a trio of players earn Southland All-Academic honors. He also helped coach the Southland Freshman of the Year in 2020, another program first.
Prior to his time at Incarnate Word, he worked at his alma mater, Division II St. Edward’s University, as an assistant coach. During his two seasons on the bench there, he helped put together a top 10 recruiting class while helping guide the program to its first Sweet 16 berth in program history. He had a trio of players write their names in the St. Edward’s record books. His success at St. Edward’s came on the heels of a strong stint as an assistant at St. Francis at the NAIA level, where he helped recruit a top 10 recruiting class while helping the program make its first national tournament appearance in 20 years. The team also earned a No. 1 ranking during the 2014 season, a program first.
“My wife and I are thrilled to be joining the Lancer community,” Land said. “As I learned about Longwood, it became obvious that a culture of excellence exists here. Coach Aldrich, the staff, supporters and past and current plyers have helped put the historic town of Farmville on the map in the college basketball world. I am thankful for such an incredible opportunity to help add to that momentum!”
Smith comes to Longwood following his time with the ADA Blois in Blois, France as a professional player last season. He averaged 11.6 points per game to go with 3.0 assists per game.
Over his nine-year playing career at multiple stops, he won the FIBA Europe Cup, qualified for the Basketball Champions League, made multiple trips to the league and Europe Cup Finals and was an all-league selection three times.
He has made stops in France, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine, Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal following a standout collegiate career at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
In 2018-19, he helped Dinamo Sassari win the FIBA Europe Cup Championship, and he was a second-team all-league player who helped his team advance to the league finals. During the FIBA Europe Cup, he led the Italian side with 5.0 assists per game, and he also averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting .441 from three-point range as well. In the finals, he totaled 24 points, six rebounds and eight assists over the two-game stretch.
He helped Pallacanestro Cantú advance to the Italian Cup semifinals in 2017-18 one year after helping Khimik Yuzhny advance to the league finals in Ukraine.
He began his professional career in 2013 with SC Lusitania in Portugal, and he was named first team all-league while helping his squad advance to the league semifinals. He followed that campaign up with a league and FIBA Cup final appearance with the Fribourg Olympic in Switzerland as a second team all-league selection.
As a collegiate student-athlete, he was an NABC All-American while helping the University of Alabama in Huntsville rack up four straight regular season Gulf South Conference championships, one GSC conference tournament title, and two Elite 8 appearances in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. A National Association of Basketball Coaches All-American, he was also the GSC Player of the Year and a four-time All-GSC selection, and he was named to the GSC All-Decade First Team.
Smith also has worked at J Smith Hoops as a head coach, trainer, and camp director to help players build basketball skills since 2008.
“I am thrilled to join the coaching staff at Longwood University,” Smith said. “It is an incredible opportunity to be a part of a program that is surrounded by talented players, dedicated coaches and a supportive community. I am grateful for the chance to utilize my personal playing experience to guide and empower our young men, both on and off the court. My aim is to make a positive impact that will shape the future of Longwood basketball. I look forward to working hard and achieving a successful season together.”
Dedolli comes to Longwood as the team’s video coordinator after serving in an administrative role at East Tennessee State. While at ETSU, he handled a variety of tasks, including film edits, film exchange, individual workout schedules and recruiting content. In addition, he obtained his master’s degree at ETSU.
Prior to his time at ETSU, he was a player at Mount St. Mary’s University for four years. During his time at The Mount, he played in 23 games and was a part of the team that won the NEC title in 2021. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration.
A native of Albania, he played for the U16, U18 and U20 Albanian National Team. In 2015, he played in the European Championships in San Marin, Italy, and he played for the U18 National Team in the EU Championships in 2016.
The Lancers are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in program history. The team has also finished in the top two in the Big South in back-to-back seasons.


Tagged with: