Queens University of Charlotte head men’s basketball coach Grant Leonard announced the promotion of Charlie Wilson to Associate Head Coach on Thursday afternoon. Wilson is coming off his first season with the Royals after being hired by Leonard in the summer of 2022.
“Charlie’s experience as a former head coach has been invaluable to the staff,” said Leonard. “His calm temperament, ability to relate with the players, and his knowledge of the game are an asset to our program that continually pays dividends. We are fortunate to have a coach the caliber of Charlie Wilson here at Queens and I am thankful every day for his contributions to our team.”
Prior to joining the Royals, Wilson spent seven seasons as the head coach of Indian River State College, where he brought the Pioneers to national prominence at the NJCAA level. Over the final two seasons under Wilson, the Pioneers went 48-9, including the first two NJCAA National Tournament berths and an Elite Eight appearance in 2020-21. Wilson was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in each season producing multiple All-Americans and back-to-back NJCAA Region VII Players of the Year.
Under his direction, Indian River State set a school record with 28 wins and achieved the highest national ranking at No. 2 in the NJCAA D1 National Polls.
Wilson brought his success to the Royals staff within a season as Queens embarked on their first Division 1 season. The Royals posted an 18-15 overall record and a 7-11 mark in ASUN play. The impressive record was second-best amongst provisional schools while they led all reclassifying programs in scoring with 77.7 points per game.
“I want to thank Coach Leonard and the Queens’ Administration for this tremendous honor,” said Wilson. “My family and I appreciate the opportunity to work at such as an impactful university. Being part of the Queens family is something I take great pride in and I look forward to being part of Coach Leonard’s vision for the future.”
Queens opened the season with an electric victory over Marshall in front of a rocking Curry Arena. The hot start translated to the Royals defeating non-conference opponents in Bowling Green and East Tennessee State in “buy games.” Queens would take their talents to the 2022 Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic where they took down Green Bay and Morgan State to claim the Rose Hall Division title.
After battling their way through league play, the Royals secured their first trip to the ASUN Championship as the No. 9 seed and dominated FGCU in the opening round to claim their first ASUN postseason victory. Queens battled the eventual ASUN Champions from Kennesaw State on the road in the quarterfinals and fell to the Owls by one.
During the year, the Royals were at the top of the rankings in multiple categories. Queens had the second-highest-scoring offense pouring in 77.7 points per game on a 44.4 percent mark from the field. The Royals physicality earned them the second most free throw attempts at 21.2 per game and they buried the most in the league. Despite being the new kids on the block, the Royals were physical on the glass and pulled down the second most rebounds per game at 37.3.
The Royals’ success came from a significant number of players who will be returning next season. AJ McKee was one of the most consistent performers for Queens reaching double figures in 31-of-33 games and being named ASUN Third Team All-Conference. The Charlotte native averaged 15.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game as he was top 10 in the ASUN in scoring. Prior to going down with a season-ending injury, Gavin Rains led the league in rebounds bringing down 10.2 boards per game. BJ McLaurin, Kalib Mathews, and Chris Ashby are also key returners for the Royals as the trio averaged 23.2 minutes, 8.3 points, and 2.9 rebounds per game.