Kirkland Named New NC Head Basketball Coach

 In Local News


The Newberry College Athletics Department has announced that Marcus Kirkland is its new men’s basketball coach.
Kirkland joins the Newberry College community after serving as Associate Mens Basketball Coach and Athletic Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Wingate University.

We had an extremely talented pool of finalists for this position and Coach Kirkland became our clear choice after making positive connections with our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and administrators,” said Newberry College Director of Athletics Sean Johnson.  We are confident that he will help our mens basketball student-athletes achieve all their goals and aspirations while making a positive impact on our department, campus and community.”

I am particularly excited about the opportunity at Newberry College because of its commitment to excellence in both academics and athletics,” said Kirkland.  ” I am confident that my experience, skills, and passion for collegiate basketball align perfectly with the goals of the Newberry College Wolves. I am eager to bring my vision, energy, and dedication to this role, and to work collaboratively with the entire college community to build a championship-caliber program.”

Kirkland completed his 13th year as a member of the Wingate University mens basketball staff, the last nine years serving as Associate Head Coach.
During those 13 seasons he was part of a Bulldog program that posted a combined overall record of 229-151 (.602) and a record in South Atlantic Conference play of 158-99 (.615).

Wingate won a share of the 2023-24 SAC regular season title, the programs first since 2007-08, two SAC Tournament titles and made five NCAA Division 2 Tournament appearances, including this season and advanced to the regional semifinals three times.

His career at Wingate was bookended by a pair of SAC tournament or regular season titles and NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 2011-12 squad was 21-12 and 13-5 in the SAC, winning the league tournament title, Wingates first conference tournament title since 2007, while rebounding from a 3-7 start.

This season’s team posted a 22-9 overall record and earned a share of the SAC title with a 16-4 conference record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
In between the Bulldogs won the 2013 SAC Tournament title, earning an NCAA Tournament berth and doing the same in 2016 and 2017.

He will be missed at Wingate, but I could not be happier for Marcus to get the chance to lead his own program,” said Bulldog head coach Brian Good.   “After thirteen years together, he was much more than just an assistant coach. His understanding of the region and SAC makes this a great decision by Newberry.”

“Marcus is going to be a great head coach,” said Wingate Athletics Director Joe Reich.  “He is a high character guy who has great drive and great people skills.  I am excited for him.”

Kirkland has been selected as one of 50 individuals to attend the prestigious 2024 NCAA Basketball Coaches Academy in July.
Kirkland has specialized in working with post players from the NBA to high school.

He spent seven years as the head coach for the Hoop Nation AAU team, was a volunteer assistant coach for one year at Livingstone College and served two years as an assistant coach at Reading College.

A University of Genova graduate, Kirkland played professionally for five years in Italy. Kirkland has extensive camp coaching background, including seven years at NBA and University of Connecticut standout Donyell Marshalls camp.

Kirkland and his wife Renee have a daughter (Captain Kerri Renee Kirkland, US Army 27) and a son (Marcus Kirkland Jr., 23). Kirklands dad (Wilbur) was a two-time college All-American and an NBA draft pick. A 10-year Italian professional league veteran, Wilbur Kirkland played one season each for the Philadelphia 76ers and the ABAs Pittsburgh Pipers. His mom (Elaine) was a high school principal and educator for 30 years. She holds a Doctor of Education degree.