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Kevin Stallings
Head Coach

Assistant Coach Jeff Jackson
Assistant Coach Brad Frederick
Director of Basketball Operations James Strong
Assistant Coach Dan Muller

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings is excited about his team this season and he has the right to be.

Stallings finally feels like he has put together a group that can match up with the elite teams in the SEC. This year's squad has the size, speed, quickness, toughness and experience at the top of the lineup that will allow Stallings' the ability and flexibility to return the Commodores to the top of the SEC.

Making it easier to expect success is the job Stallings and his coaching staff does both on and off the court. Entering their fourth season in Nashville, they have increased the talent level of the team and continue to strive to attract the nation's top recruits.

They made sure they didn't miss anything in their own backyard, signing two players from the Nashville area. Then the staff went almost coast to coast to sign players from Arizona, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

For the first time since taking the Vanderbilt job, Stallings now has a full lineup that is healthy and talented enough to contribute. But when that talent has not been available in the past, Stallings and his staff could be counted to coach their team into contention and grab their share of victories.

When Stallings was hired in April of 1999, he inherited a team that lost three players from a squad that finished 14-15. With no incoming recruits, there was little reason for optimism. While Stallings was able to sign one player before the season started, he took over essentially the same team that posted a 5-11 record in the SEC and won just one road game the year before.

Stallings led that Vanderbilt squad to a 19-11 record and an NIT berth. Along the way he helped Dan Langhi earn SEC Player of the Year honors, the first Commodore to garner the conference player of the year award since 1993.

This past season, Stallings guided the Commodores back to the postseason, leading them to their first postseason victory since 1998. It also continued Stallings' streak of never having a losing season in 24 years as a player or coach.

And Commodore fans can have faith in the fact that Stallings is not planning on ending that streak anytime soon. Wherever Stallings has coached, winning has quickly followed. He also is no stranger to high expectations.

When he came to Illinois State as the new head coach in the spring of 1993, he followed the most successful coach in school history. Stallings proceeded to raise the bar of success a notch higher. In six seasons at ISU, he recorded four 20-win seasons, won two conference titles, two conference tournament championships and captured four postseason tournament berths.

In the same manner, Stallings hopes to continue the illustrious history of Vanderbilt basketball.

The Commodores were a national power under head coach Roy Skinner in the mid-1960s and early 1970s, and made four NCAA Tournament appearances from 1988 to 1993 under C.M. Newton and Eddie Fogler.

Stallings has embraced the Commodores' history and tradition, while charting the direction he plans to take the program.

"For about six or eight months I looked around and tried to find a reason that we couldn't be successful," Stallings said. "I finally stopped looking because there isn't any reason we can't be successful."

Stallings' formula for success is not complicated. He believes in the time-honored values of intelligence, drive, hard work, experience and integrity. The outcome is that his teams win and his players graduate.

Stallings is committed to maintaining the high academic standards of Vanderbilt University. It is not an empty promise. At Illinois State, five players achieved Academic All-American status and all but two seniors earned their degrees during his tenure. That trend has continued at Vanderbilt with all of his seniors earning their degrees.

On the court, Stallings has a toughness and competitive nature that drives him and in turn drives his team when they step on the floor. Stallings cares deeply about his players. He preaches discipline and common sense in both basketball and life.

Stallings began his coaching career as an assistant under Gene Keady at Purdue from 1983-88. The Boilermakers were 140-44 during that time with three Big Ten championships and six trips to the NCAA Tournament.

In 1988, Stallings accepted a position on Roy Williams' staff at Kansas. In his five seasons, the Jayhawks posted a 132-38 record with three Big Eight regular season titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two appearances in the Final Four.

In addition to Keady and Williams, Stallings credits his high school coach, Virgil Fletcher, for his development as a coach and teacher.

"I am proud to have been associated with and honored to have had the opportunity to play for and work under three guys of that magnitude."

In 1993, at the age of 32, Stallings was ready for his first head coaching position. He took the reigns at Illinois State and swiftly built the program into a regular contender for the Missouri Valley Conference title. The team made two NIT and two NCAA Tournament appearances from 1994-1999, and Stallings posted a 123-63 record.

Stallings, age 42, and his wife of 19 years, Lisa, have three children; Jacob, age 12, and Alexa, age eight and Jordyn, age two.

PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT FROM STALLINGS HIRING (4/1/99)


 









 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
                   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)