UPDATE: Corliss Williamson Heads Back to NBA



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UCA released the following statement regarding Corliss Williamson’s move back to the NBA and the search for a permanent replacement. Clarence Finley has been named the interim head coach:

University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball coach Corliss Williamson is leaving to become an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association, the team announced Thursday.

Williamson, a former fan favorite with the Kings as a player, spent the past three seasons as head coach at UCA, his first Division I head coaching position. Williamson led the Bears to their first Southland Conference Tournament appearance last spring.

“Coach Williamson’s three years at UCA were very good,” said Dr. Brad Teague, UCA’s Director of Athletics. “His hard work is now showing in the level of talent and character his student-athletes bring to our program. We appreciate all he has done for UCA basketball to lay a foundation for future success.

“The Sacramento Kings will now have a valuable coaching asset for their team and community. I know Corliss will contribute greatly to their success and we wish him well.”

Williamson, who won an NCAA national championship at Arkansas and an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons, went 26-62 while at UCA. His final team won 13 games, the second highest total since moving to Division I in 2006, and went 7-11 in the Southland Conference, earning the SLC Tournament bid.

Williamson, the 13th overall pick by the Kings in the 1995 NBA Draft, played 12 seasons in the NBA, retiring in 2007. He played for Sacramento from 1995-2000 and 2005-2007. Williamson won his NBA title with the Pistons in 2004 and was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year with Detroit in 2001-02.

“The best thing about it was just the opportunity Dr. Teague gave me to coach at that level,” said Williamson, the Most Valuable Player of the 1994 NCAA Final Four. “And the people, that’s what I enjoyed the most. The entire UCA community, the athletic department, the faculty and staff, the community, the way they all got  behind us and supported our team. The way they believed in what we were trying to accomplish, the foundation we were building.

“It was just an awesome experience. Being a young head coach, with not much experience, it was just a perfect fit for me with the support we had. I am very excited about the time I spent at UCA.”

“We wish Corliss and Michelle all the best in their move back to Sacramento,” Teague said. “We will miss the Williamson family being a large part of UCA Athletics.”

Williamson said Sacramento is yet another perfect fit.

“I honestly couldn’t see myself leaving for any situation other than an opportunity to go back to Sacramento,” said Williamson. “It’s a place where I cut my teeth as a rookie in the NBA, spent over half of my career there. It’s an area that reminds me a lot of Arkansas, with the people, the fans they have there. It’s just a great opportunity that I have now to return there and be able to coach at the highest level.”

Teague said Clarence Finley, UCA’s associate head coach the past three seasons, will take over as interim head coach for the 2013-14 season.

“Due to the timing of his departure, we will delay the hiring of a new permanent head coach until after the upcoming basketball season,” he said. “The program is in good hands with Coach Finley at the helm. He will be our interim head coach for the year.”

Teague said anyone with interest in the position or with recommendations can communicate through the UCA Athletics marketing firm, PeakSports Management, at search@peaksportsmgmt.com.

Reports from Sacramento are that Corliss Williamson, the UCA Bears head basketball coach and former Arkansas Razorback, will join the Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach. We will update this post with additional information and UCA plans to fill the head coaching vacancy as they become available.

As reported by News 10 in Sacramento:

The Sacramento Kings new coaching staff is about to get a lot nastier.

Former Kings forward Corliss Williamson, who won a championship in the NCAA and NBA, will be added to Michael Malone’s coaching staff, according to three sources with knowledge.

Sister station KTHV in Little Rock also cited a source saying that Williamson was indeed going to be joining the Kings.

Williamson will leave his current position as head coach for the University of Central Arkansas, where he led the Bears since 2010. He will return to Sacramento to join Malone’s staff that already consists of Brendan Malone, Chris Jent, Dee Brown and Micah Nori.

Nicknamed “The Big Nasty”, Williamson was drafted by Sacramento in 1995 and played with the Kings until 2000, when he was traded to Toronto in exchange for Doug Christie.

In 2001, Williamson was traded to the Detroit Pistons where he went on to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in 2002 and then an NBA title in 2004.

Corliss Williamson Bio:

Former NBA player, NCAA All-American and Arkansas Sports Hall of Famer Corliss Williamson became the head basketball coach at the University of Central Arkansas on March 12, 2010.

“Coach Williamson made it clear from the beginning of this process that he wanted to be the head basketball coach at UCA,” said Dr. Brad Teague, UCA director of athletics. “He was aggressive with his passion for being our head coach, not just a head coach, but UCA’s head coach.

“Coach Williamson laid out a plan for UCA basketball with goals which align with our program and institutional goals. He made sure to absorb basketball knowledge from all the greats of the game in which he has been aligned. He has put this knowledge into a tangible plan which guides his coaching style.”

Williamson, a former two-time All-American at Arkansas and an NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons, heads a UCA program that will be fully eligible for NCAA Division I postseason play in 2010-11. A Russellville, Ark. native, Williamson coached the past three seasons at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, and served as head coach during the 2009-10 season.

Prior to his coaching stint at ABC, Williamson played 12 years in the National Basketball Association, helping the Pistons to the NBA championship in 2004. He played for the Sacramento Kings (1995-2000, 2005-2007), the Toronto Raptors (2000-2001), the Detroit Pistons (2001-2004) and the Philadelphia 76ers (2004-2005).

Williamson was a lottery pick, No. 13 overall, by the Sacramento Kings in the 1995 NBA Draft. He was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year while playing for the Pistons in 2001-2002. His NBA career averages were 11.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 1.2 assists per game in 822 career games. Williamson shot 49 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line for his career.

Williamson was a high school legend in Arkansas playing for the Russellville Cyclones and the Arkansas Wings AAU team. He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992 before signing with the University of Arkansas. During his highly decorated career at Arkansas, Williamson was a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year (1994, 1995) and was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1994 NCAA Final Four, where he led the Razorbacks to the national championship in 1994 with a win over Duke, and to a national runnerup spot in 1995.

Williamson left after his junior season at UA with 1,728 career points, ranking eighth on the all-time scoring list.

He is one of only a handful of basketball players to win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA Championship. That list includes the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek and Isaiah Thomas.

Williamson was inducted into the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor in 2003 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

He received his bachelor’s degree in management studies from the University of Maryland University College in 2003.

“Coach Williamson carries himself with humility and integrity and will be a great advocate for this university, the men’s basketball program and UCA Athletics. We couldn’t be more pleased to have someone of his caliber to lead our men’s program.

“Obviously Coach Williamson has achieved success at all levels, but his commitment to success at UCA was very evident. We are excited for our student-athletes and this program for the positive impact he will make.”

Off the court, Williamson has created and owned his own urban retail store (Legend brand) from 2003-2006 and has worked in real estate with Irwin Partners (2004-2007). He is currently working with WTH, LLC on a residential development. He has also been active in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball as both a coach and administrator.

Williamson was the KARK Distinquished Citizen Award winner in 2003 and was the founder of the Legends in the Rock Basketball Camp. He raised $1 million dollars to establish the L.V. Williamson Boys and Girls Club in Russellville and has been a member of the Arkansas Community Foundation since 1995.

Williamson was awarded the Oscar Robertson Triple Threat Award by the Sacramento Kings for two consecutive years. The award is given for a combination of performance on the court, leadership in the locker room and community service. He was also part of the NBA “Read to Achieve’ program from 1995-2007.

Bio courtesy UCA Department of Athletics

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