With the college basketball season now over, schools across the landscape are busy getting ready for next year. Two schools in the America East Conference have ended their search for a new head coach. The University of New Hampshire Wildcats and New Jersey Institute of Technology have found new men to lead their programs into the future. In Durham, NH Nathan Davis has been hired to take over the Wildcats program. In New Jersey, Grant Billmeier will do the same.
Nathan Davis comes to UNH after spending eight years as the head coach of the Bucknell Bison of the Patriot League. He was the head coach from 2015-23, He led the program to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016-17 and then in 2017-18. The Bisons won the conference regular season title five times. Bucknell won the conference tournament twice. He was named conference Coach of the Year twice. In the eight years that Davis was at the helm, Bucknell won 129 games with three straight twenty-win seasons. He was also an assistant coach at both Colgate and Navy.
With the Midshipmen he helped them get to two league championship games in 2000 and 2001. He also spent six years as a head coach at the Division III level at his alma mater Randolph Macon where he led the Yellow Jackets to three conference titles, six NCAA tournament appearances, and a Division III Final Four appearance in 2009-2010. He posted a 141-39 record with the Yellow Jackets. He takes over a Wildcats program that went 15-15 and 9-7 in America East. In the conference tournament, UNH was defeated by UMass Lowell in the semifinals.
Grant Billmeier is getting his first shot at being a head coach. He will become the 12th head coach in the history of the program. Grant has experience as an assistant in both the Big East with Seton Hall and in the Big-10 with Maryland. This past season, as part of Kevin Willard’s staff, he helped the Terrapins to a 22-13 record, 11-9 in the Big-10, and 16-1 at home. Maryland made the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the round of 32 to Alabama. At Seton Hall, Billmeier was the director of basketball operations. He also helped to develop Seton Hall’s big men. He also played at the Hall from 2003-07 where he was named captain twice and helped the Pirates to two NCAA Tournament berths. He played 106 games for Seton Hall, then spent time playing professionally overseas in Germany and Portugal. NJIT had a tough season in 2022-23 with an overall record of 7-23 and 4-12 in league play. They finished the season on a six-game losing streak.
Both programs are looking to jump-start their teams into the upper half of the league. UNH and NJIT have not played for the conference title. Hopefully, these changes will be a step in that direction for both the Wildcats and the Highlanders.
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