Billy Donlon
Billy  Donlon

Position:
Assistant Coach


03/16/2017

Kornacki: How 'Billy Ball' Gave Michigan's Defense Some Real Teeth

Kornacki: How 'Billy Ball' Gave Men's Hoops Some Real Teeth

05/11/2016

Kornacki: Donlon Played Against, Now Coaching Alongside Beilein

Kornacki: Donlon Played Against, Now Coaching Alongside Beilein

With nearly 20 years of college coaching experience, Billy Donlon begins his first season with the University of Michigan men's basketball programs.

Donlon comes to U-M after spending the last decade at Wright State University, including the final six years as the program's head coach. In those six seasons (2010-16), Donlon compiled a 109-94 record with three 20-plus win seasons and helped the Raiders reach the Horizon League Tournament title game three times (2013, '14, '16). In addition, Donlon's squads tied the program marks for wins with 23 in 2013 and conference wins with 13 in 2016.

After his 2013 squad was picked to finished last in the preseason, Donlon went on to be named the Horizon League's Coach of the Year. He guided the Raiders to a 10-win improvement, tying the school record with 23 wins, the No. 3 seed and a championship game appearance in the Horizon League Tournament as well as a semifinal appearance in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). He was also named a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award and the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award given to the nation's top mid-major coach.

During his tenure, he coached five players to All-Horizon League honors -- Vaughn Duggins (2011, 1st), N'Gai Evans (2011, 2nd), Julius Mays (2012, 2nd), Cole Darling (2013, 2nd) and A.J. Pacher (2014, 2nd). In 2012, Mays was also named the Horizon Newcomer of the Year and was a member of the All-Newcomer Team.

Known for his defensive strategies, Wright State's defense ranked as high as 16th nationally in 2013, and he had two players selected as the Horizon League All-Defensive Team -- Matt Vest (2014) and Joe Thomasson (2016).

Before his promotion to head coach in 2010, Donlon served as the associate head coach under current Clemson head coach Brad Brownell for four seasons (2007-10). He helped Wright State to four straight 20-plus win seasons, the 2007 Horizon League regular-season and tournament title and an automatic bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, where the Raiders lost in the first round to Pittsburgh.

Before joining Wright State, Donlon was an assistant at his alma mater UNC Wilmington for four seasons (2002-06), coaching again under Brownell. Donlon assisted the Seahawks to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2003, '06) and two Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular-season and tournament titles (2003, '06).

Following his collegiate playing career at UNCW, Donlon began his coaching career as an assistant at American University (1999-2000) before moving on to Saint Peter's for a season (2000-01). Following the 2001 season, Donlon spent a year playing professionally overseas with Irish National Team, as well as stops in France and Germany.

As a collegiate player, Donlon was a star guard at UNC Wilmington for four seasons (1996-99), playing in 118 career games. He finished with 901 points and at the time of his graduation he was the Seahawks all-time assist leader with 456, which currently stands third in UNCW history. He was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association's (CAA) All-Rookie Team in 1996 and led the team in assists as a junior (5.6 apg) and senior (5.2 apg).

Donlon, who earned a history degree in 1999 from UNCW, received one of the CAA's most prestigious honors in his senior year. He was selected as the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Award for Leadership, presented annually to the player who embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship through academic and athletic achievements.

A native of Northbrook, Ill., Donlon prepped at Glenbrook North High School, which is the same alma mater of current Northwestern head coach Chris Collins.

The Billy Donlon File

Born: Feb. 10, 1977
Hometown: Northbrook, Ill.
High School: Glenbrook North High School, 1995
College: UNC Wilmington, 1999 (BA, History)
Family: Single

Coaching Career

Years School Position
1999-2000 American University Assistant Coach
2000-01 Saint Peter's Assistant Coach
2001-02 Did Not Coach Played Professionally Overseas
2002-06 UNC Wilmington Assistant Coach
2006-10 Wright State Associate Head Coach
2010-16 Wright State Head Coach
2016-present University of Michigan Assistant Coach

Coaching Career Breakdown

Year School Record Conf. Finish Postseason
1999-2000 American 11-18 5-11 8th -
2000-01 Saint Peter's 4-24 3-15 10th -
2001-02 DNC, played overseas - - - -
2002-03 UNC Wilmington 24-7 15-3 1st NCAA, First Round
2003-04 UNC Wilmington 15-15 9-9 7th -
2004-05 UNC Wilmington 19-10 13-5 t-2nd -
2005-06 UNC Wilmington 25-8 15-3 t-1st NCAA, First Round
2006-07 Wright State 23-10 13-3 t-1st NCAA, First Round
2007-08 Wright State 21-10 12-6 t-2nd -
2008-09 Wright State 20-13 12-6 t-3rd -
2009-10 Wright State 20-12 12-6 2nd -
2010-11 Wright State 19-14 10-8 t-5th -
2011-12 Wright State 13-19 7-11 8th -
2012-13 Wright State 23-13 10-6 t-3rd CBI, Semifinal
2013-14 Wright State 21-15 10-6 3rd CIT, Second Round
2014-15 Wright State 11-20 3-13 8th -
2015-16 Wright State 22-13 13-5 t-2nd -
2016-17 Michigan - - - -
Career Totals 291-221 162-116

Career Record

Years School Overall Conference Seasons
1999-2000 American 11-18 5-11 1
2000-01 Saint Peter's 4-24 3-15 1
2002-06 UNC Wilmington 106-50 66-24 4
2006-16 Wright State 193-139 102-70 10
2016-present Michigan - - 1
Career Totals 291-221 162-116 17
Totals as Head Coach 109-94 53-49 6
Totals as Assistant Coach 182-127 109-67 11


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