Wilson takes over at VMI, credits Hamilton for sparking career in coaching

Former Florida State basketball player Andrew Wilson was named the 26th head basketball coach in VMI history.

“It’s an honor and privilege to lead the Keydet Basketball program and build off the previous coaching staff’s success,” Wilson told The Osceola. “I am very excited to serve our current cadet-athletes and hit the ground running on the recruiting trail. VMI is a special place and I look forward to embracing the many traditions of the Institute. My family and I are very excited to make the VMI post our home for many years to come.” 

Wilson credits FSU basketball coach Leonard Hamilton for inspiration. 

“Coach Ham has been instrumental in helping develop my career and I’m very thankful for his guidance and mentorship over all these years,” said Wilson, who helped lead FSU to its first 20-win season in nearly a decade. “I first developed a passion for coaching from him and his coaching staff during my playing days at FSU. I’m very fortunate to have learned from the one of the best coaches in college basketball history!”

Wilson was the first student-athlete in ACC history to take part in six seasons while at Florida State (2000-06) after multiple injuries led to two consecutive medical redshirts. 

A three-year starter and senior captain, Wilson became the first player in FSU history to hit at least seven three-pointers in multiple ACC games and finished second in the nation in 3-point shooting average.

Wilson earned a master’s degree in Sport Administration, was named to the All-ACC Academic Basketball Team three times and the ACC Academic Honor Roll five times.

Wilson served under former Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Cremins at College of Charleston for six seasons. He coached alongside Mark Byington as assistants, who Wilson would later serve at James Madison, where Byington is head coach. 

While at College of Charleston, the Cougars averaged 22 wins a season, three postseason tournament appearances, three Southern Conference title game appearances, four 20-win seasons, the 2011 Southern Conference regular season title, and the program’s first NBA Draft pick in 14 years when the Los Angeles Lakers selected guard Andrew Goudelock.

In their first season at James Madison, Byington and Wilson led the Dukes to a Colonial Athletic Association regular season title and No. 1 seed following a 9-21 mark prior to their arrival. It was JMU’s first No. 1 seed since 1992-93.

Not surprisingly given his background with Hamilton, Wilson was responsible for coordinating the JMU defense — which finished in the top 100 nationally for field-goal percentage, three-point percentage, turnover percentage, steals and points per possession. 

Prior to arriving in Harrisonburg, Wilson served Byington for seven seasons at Georgia Southern, the final year as Associate Head Coach. The Eagles earned the program’s first postseason bid and three straight 20-win campaigns in their final three years.

Every senior to come through GSU’s program graduated during Wilson’s seven years in Statesboro, another echo of Hamilton’s influence.

In June 2019, Wilson was selected to the Jay Bilas Coaches Leadership Program, designed to identify and develop up-and-coming coaches who have the potential to be Division I head coaches and was limited to 12 coaches nationwide.

In 2021, Wilson was selected to for the prestigious TopConnect Basketball Symposium (formerly Villa 7), which identifies the top assistant coaches and connects them with mid-major Athletic Directors for networking and leadership development opportunities.

“I am excited about the energy and winning mindset that Coach Wilson will bring to our basketball program,” VMI Superintendent Maj. General Cedric T. Wins said. “His strong record of growth and improvement is important for our program to continue to build on its recent successes. Andrew’s leadership and commitment to talent development will serve our cadet-athletes well both on and off the court.”

“Coach Wilson is ready to embrace the challenge of serving as a head coach at VMI,” said VMI Interim Director of Athletics Jim Miller. “Andrew will represent VMI with dignity and embrace the unique mission of VMI. His previous coaching experience demonstrated his leadership ability and preparedness to lead our team.”

Andrew and his wife, Lisa, have three children: Cate (12), Mackenzi (9) and Knox (3).