SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College announced on Sunday, April 14, the hiring of Jay McAuley as head men’s basketball coach. McAuley has spent the past two years as the associate head coach of the Terriers.
Wofford will hold a press conference on Monday, April 15, at 2 p.m. in Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium to introduce McAuley as head coach to the Wofford community.
“I am truly honored to be the next men’s basketball coach at Wofford College,” said McAuley. “I would like to thank President Samhat, Athletic Director Richard Johnson and the many supporters who believe in my ability to continue the championship tradition that is firmly in place here. While this is a new and exciting chapter for both my family and the Terrier faithful, the mission remains the same: recruit and graduate first-class student-athletes, showcase an exciting brand of basketball, and win championships.”
“When we began the search process six days ago, we thought Jay McAuley would be a good choice,” said Wofford Director of Athletics Richard Johnson. “As we progressed through the process, it became clear that he was a great choice. He has been a valuable member of the coaching staff at Wofford and has great experience with coaches such as Chris Holtmann and Niko Medved. We are excited to have him lead our team.”
“We are fortunate to have such a talented coach ready to continue our incredible momentum and lead our basketball program,” said Wofford President Dr. Nayef Samhat. “On behalf of the Wofford family, I want to welcome Jay as our new head coach, and we are delighted that he and his wife, Sallie, and their daughter, Addie, will continue to be a part of the Spartanburg community.”
This past season, the Terriers posted a 30-5 overall record, including a perfect 18-0 mark in Southern Conference play. They won the Southern Conference tournament title, the second for McAuley at Wofford. In the NCAA tournament, the Terriers were a seventh-seed – the highest by a team from the Southern Conference since the field expanded to 64 teams. A win over Seton Hall sent Wofford to the second round and was the league’s first NCAA tournament victory in 11 years. The Terriers were defeated by second-seeded Kentucky 62-56 to end the season.
The team was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time ever, ending the season at No. 19. The Terriers were also ranked No. 18 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll. Fletcher Magee was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year and was the Lou Henson National Player of the Year recipient as the top mid-major player in Division I, along with earning honorable mention All-America recognition. Cameron Jackson joined Magee on the All-Southern Conference first team as selected by both the media and coaches.
During the 2017-18, season the team was 21-13 overall and 11-7 in the Southern Conference to finish tied for fourth. Highlights included a win over Georgia Tech in Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium and on Dec. 20, Wofford went into the Dean E. Smith Center and upset No. 5 North Carolina, the defending national champion. The team played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). Magee was named the Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year (Media) and was a first-team All-SoCon selection, while Jackson earned second-team honors and Storm Murphy was placed on the all-freshman team.
In four seasons on the coaching staff at Furman, he helped guide the Paladins from a seven-win squad prior to his arrival and led it to improved records each season. The run culminated in a 23-11 record in 2016 that earned Furman a share of its first SoCon regular-season championship since 1990-91. The team reached the semifinals of the CIT postseason tournament in 2016-17, its second consecutive season in the CIT. McAuley coached All-Southern Conference players Stephen Croone and Devin Sibley, Jr., along with all-freshman team members Jordan Lyons, Daniel Fowler and Matt Rafferty.
He spent three seasons at Gardner-Webb University on Chris Holtmann’s staff. After a 23-41 mark in the first two seasons, in the 2012-13 season, he helped lead the Runnin’ Bulldogs to a 21-13 overall mark. They were 11-5 Big South record and earned a berth in the College Insider Tournament. Holtmann is currently the head coach at Ohio State after a stint at Butler.
Prior to McAuley’s time at Gardner-Webb, he spent two seasons at Wofford, where he helped lead the Terriers in 2009-10 to a 26-9 overall record and 15-3 in Southern Conference play en route to winning both the regular-season and tournament titles.
The Terriers began the 2009-10 season 4-6 but then proceeded to finish by winning 22 of 24, including a 13-game winning streak. Also included were wins over SEC-foes South Carolina and Georgia. Wofford entered the SoCon tournament as the top seed for the first time. After defeating UNCG and Western Carolina, the team earned a spot in the finals. In a game dominated by the Terrier defense, Wofford won 56-51 over Appalachian State to take the first Southern Conference Championship and the league’s bid to the NCAA tournament.
At the Jacksonville Regional, Wofford was a 13 seed and faced four-seed Wisconsin. The Terriers were down eight points at the half but used a 12-4 run to tie the game and kept it a one-possession game until the final seconds in a 53-49 loss. After the season, Noah Dahlman was named SoCon Player of the Year and honorable mention All-American. Dahlman, Tim Johnson and Jamar Diggs earned all-conference honors.
During his first season on staff at Wofford in 2008-09, the Terriers were 16-14 overall and 12-8 in league play. Dahlman earned All-Southern Conference first-team honors from the coaches and media, while Junior Salters was a third-team pick by the media.
McAuley, a Marietta, Georgia, native, played four seasons at the University of Georgia and was on the 2008 team that won the SEC tournament. He played in 17 games his junior season and was a co-captain in his senior campaign. After graduating with a degree in business education in 2006, he served as a graduate manager for two seasons and earned a master’s degree in physical education.
McAuley married the former Sallie Willis in 2012 and the couple have a daughter, Adrienne Elizabeth (Addie).
COLLEGE COACHING EXPERIENCE
Wofford Head coach (2019- )
Wofford Associate head coach (2017-19)
Furman Assistant coach (2013-17)
Gardner-Webb Assistant coach (2010-13)
Wofford Assistant coach (2008-10)
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Jeff Goodman, Stadium Basketball Insider
“Jay McAuley is ready to lead his own program. He has helped to rebuild three teams under the leadership of terrific coaches such as, Mike Young, Chris Holtmann and Niko Medved. He has shown the ability to coach, recruit and develop kids ... That's rare in this business these days.”
Head coach Niko Medved, Colorado State University
“Jay McAuley did a terrific job for us at Furman and played a vital role in all areas of our program. He was instrumental in our success in transforming Furman into a championship program. You will not find a harder worker a better teacher and person.”
Head coach Chris Holtmann, The Ohio State University
“Jay did an outstanding job helping me build and grow our program (at Gardner-Webb). He was all in from day one and a significant reason for our success. He is competent, works well with others, recruits well and cares at a high level. I know he is very excited about this opportunity and is prepared to hit the ground running as the next head coach.”