VMI hoops coach speaks at Roanoke Valley Sports Club

‘All of my mentors have really helped shape and mold me for this opportunity.’

SALEM, Va. – New VMI basketball coach Andrew Wilson made a trek to Salem on Monday night to speak at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club. The first year head coach is excited for the season ahead.

“It’s been extremely busy over the last four months taking over this program,” Wilson told 10 Sports. “I’ve been really busy on the recruiting trail and on building my own staff.”

Wilson credited the leadership at VMI as the motivating factors that led him to accepting the position back in April, just a week after the Final Four.

“There are lots of great and unique things about VMI. One of the things that attracted me was the leadership in place. The superintendent and leader of the institution was a great basketball player in the early ‘80s. That was a major reason. Also, athletic director Jim Miller was a former assistant coach at VMI. So, two guys very involved with basketball and have basketball backgrounds at the institution is something that excited me about the opportunity.”

Wilson came to Lexington after a nice track record of success. He played at Florida State for longtime coach Leonard Hamilton. But he told the crowd Monday night that he was actually recruited by Roanoke native Steve Robinson--a current assistant at the University of Arizona.

Andrew Wilson speaks to 10 Sports at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club (WSLS)

“All of my mentors have really helped shape and mold me for this opportunity,” Wilson said. “Getting the opportunity to play for Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. Getting the opportunity to work for Bobby Cremins at a young age and as an assistant at College of Charleston. And getting a chance to work for Salem, Virginia legend Mark Byington. I worked with or for Mark for 16 years. I learned so much from those three guys and we’ll take something from all of them and form them into my own identity as a head coach.”

When it comes to style of play, Wilson admits he’s more of a defensive minded coach. But he knows the approach on the hardwoods will have to look and be different.

“We have to be different than everybody else. We have to play a unique style. We’ll be a little different on offense and defense, we will be unique and different.”

What type of players has he been recruiting?

" I look for toughness and guys that have a chip on their shoulders. I’m looking for young men that want to come in and prove the people wrong that overlooked them.”

Also in attendance Monday night were two VMI hoops legends and Roanoke natives--twins Ramon and Damon Williams.

Ramon and Damon Williams in attendance at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club (WSLS)

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.