BANNER ELK, N.C. --- We want you to get to know our staff better Bobcat Nation! With many new faces on the staff this year, Lees-McRae College Director of Athletics Craig McPhail has sat down with first-year men's basketball assistant Marcus Wilmoth in the first installment of the Bobcats' Meet the Coaches series, which aims to help you, Bobcat Nation, learn more about the people behind the scenes and on the sidelines guiding our student-athletes through their experience in collegiate athletics.
Craig McPhail (Mac): How did you get started in college athletics?
Marcus Wilmoth (MW): I played one year of college basketball at Surry Community College, and I have always had ambitions to be a college basketball coach. My first coaching opportunity came when Coach Houston Fancher, then at Appalachian State, hired me as a team manager. I was a manager at ASU for three years and was promoted to graduate assistant coach under head coach Jason Capel last season.
Mac: What are your direct responsibilities with regards to the men's basketball program?
MW: My direct responsibilities here at Lees-McRae include on court coaching during practice and games, recruiting, scouting of opponents, academic liaison, weight room supervisor, compliance responsibilities, as well as numerous other day to day responsibilities.
Mac: What does an average day consist of for you?
MW: An average day for me consists of checking on recruits performances from night before, calling high school coaches asking about recruits, evaluating game film from previous games, watching opponent game film, creating scouting reports for upcoming opponents (both video and on paper), creating practice schedules, and of course, practice and recruiting.
Mac: What is your most memorable moment in college athletics?
MW: My most memorable moment in college athletics would have to be when ASU played the University of North Carolina last year in the Dean E. Smith Center. I grew up a huge fan of UNC and getting to coach against them in that arena was a dream come true for me.
Mac: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
MW: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our guys be successful, whether that is winning on the court or graduating from college. There is nothing like seeing people you care about reach their goals in life.
Mac: What makes Lees-McRae so special for you?
MW: Lees-McRae is special to me because they are the first school to give me the opportunity to reach my dreams of becoming a college basketball coach. Also, the people here make it special. Because of the small size of the school everyone knows everyone, and it gives you many opportunities to build meaningful relationships. The support systems at this school are second to none and it is like a big family, where everyone wants to see you succeed.
Mac: Who is your mentor or guide in this profession?
MW: I have had the opportunity to work with many coaches from my time at Surry Community College to my current position here at Lees-McRae. I had the pleasure of playing for my dad at Surry and he is probably who I go to the most for coaching advice, but I have also had the privilege of working with great coaches like Houston Fancher, Matt McMahon, Buzz Peterson, and Jason Capel who I know I can go to at any time for advice. My biggest current mentor is Coach Hardin here at Lees-McRae. I get to see day to day how to run a successful college basketball program as demonstrated by him. I am lucky to have played and worked for many successful basketball coaches and all of them are huge mentors to me.
Mac: What do you hope to leave as a lasting impression for this position?
MW: I hope to leave a lasting impression that hard work, passion, and dedication can lead to a successful career in whatever you do. I am convinced that basketball can succeed at this school on the court as it already does off the court. I hope to instill a winning mentality in basketball at this school and continue the success that we have had in the classroom.
Mac: What are your goals for the future?
MW: My future goals are the same as they were when I graduated high school, and that is to become a college basketball coach at the NCAA Division I level and compete for championships.
Mac: What is your favorite hobby other than sports?
MW: In my case, I look at golf as more of a hobby than a sport because I am not very good at it, but still enjoy playing it when I need to relax and want to have a little fun.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Marcus Wilmoth. Stay tuned for our next installment, expected after the Christmas break.