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Killings, New UAlbany Men's Basketball Coach, Promises Banner In Introduction

University at Albany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings
UAlbany livestream
University at Albany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings

The University at Albany introduced its first new men’s basketball coach in two decades Thursday afternoon. 

Wednesday evening, athletics director Mark Benson confirmed widespread rumors: 39-year-old Dwayne Killings will be the school’s 16th head coach and just its third since making the jump to Division I.

By Thursday, Killings was on campus with his family to meet the Purple and Gold.

“You dream about this opportunity, so I just want to let this soak in for a second,” Killings said.

It has been a generation since UAlbany last introduced a new men’s basketball coach. One day after the Great Danes went down in the America East tournament earlier this month, 20-year head coach Will Brown and the SUNY school announced a mutual parting of the ways, throwing the program into a period of transition. 

Benson said the school had plenty of options. 

“We had a really, really great pool of candidates. This is a high, high level of interest from all across the country. We had sitting head coaches, associate coaches, assistant coaches all across the country, at all levels, former head coaches, so really great interest in this job,” Benson said. 

This marks the first head coaching job for Killings, a native of Amherst, Massachusetts who played at UMass and Hampton.

University at Albany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings
Credit UAlbany web stream
University at Albany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings

Killings has had a peripatetic coaching career to date: he spent the last three years as an assistant at Marquette. Before that were stints at UConn, Temple, and in UAlbany’s conference, with Boston University, a decade ago.

“I gotta develop those young men, I gotta touch their hearts and their souls. If I can do that, I can help us put a banner in this building. And I promise you I will do that,” Killings said. 

Killings has also worked in the NBA, as a special assistant to Charlotte and as NBA D-League Manager of Basketball Operations. He has been to seven NCAA tournaments as an assistant coach, and that will be the goal as he makes SEFCU Arena home. 

UAlbany went to the NCAAs five times under Brown, but not since 2015.  Killings said he isn’t worried about replacing the Capital Region fixture. 

“When you look at a program like this that has had success, there’s a lot of people that care,” Killings said. “We gotta make them care a little bit more. We have to show them that we care about them also to get them in the building, but Will achieved some great things as a head coach of the program. There’s huge opportunity here for me.”

Contract terms were not disclosed. 

Killings’ reputation as a recruiter will be tested immediately: several of UAlbany’s top players entered the transfer portal after Brown’s departure, which Killings addressed Thursday. 

“I want to keep everyone who wants to be here. It’s their program. I’m the caretaker, I’m the head coach. It’s their program. I want them to be here. I get all these guys have made some decisions. They need to get to know me as a coach, as a leader, get to understand what we’re going to try to do as a program,” he said. 

It all comes as the Indiana-based NCAA Tournament gets under way Thursday. Hartford, a regular UAlbany conference rival, faces top-seeded Baylor Friday. Baylor is favored by 26 points. 

UAlbany is hoping Killings and the Great Danes are in a similar predicament sometime soon.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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