WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Kevin App, has been selected as the 12th coach in the history of the Williams College men's basketball program, it was announced Saturday by Williams Director of Athletics Lisa Melendy.
App spent the 2008-09 season as an Eph assistant under former head coach Mike Maker, who resigned in mid-June to take the head coaching job at Marist College. From there he spent one season as an assistant at his alma mater, Cornell University, before moving on to the United States Military Academy, where he was an assistant for the past four seasons under Zach Spiker.
"I couldn't be more pleased to name Kevin App as our next men's basketball coach," Melendy said. "He distinguished himself among perhaps the strongest pool we have had for any search. Those who met with Kevin were particularly impressed with his personable demeanor, his clear preparation and attention to detail, and his demonstrated knowledge of and passion for the sport of basketball and Williams College.
"Kevin returns to Williams having learned the lessons other strong programs could provide to him. I am confident we have in Kevin another in a long line of extremely talented basketball coaches and that he will be able to lead this program into the future while honoring its traditions."
Following Maker's resignation June 16th, a search committee was assembled the next day and a national search conducted. As expected, there was countrywide interest and in all, 84 applications were reviewed. Williams President Adam Falk received at least two phone calls about the position, Melendy said, and other members of the Williams administration were contacted as well. The applicant pool consisted of coaches with experience at all three levels of the NCAA as well as some with no basketball coaching experience at all.
The search committee conducted nine preliminary interviews via conference call, which included students chosen for the search committee who were scattered across the country for the summer, before inviting the final four candidates to campus for second interviews this week.
App was offered the job Friday and accepted, Melendy said.
"I really didn't apply for the job simply because I wanted to be a head coach," App said. "I really applied because ever since I was assistant there, it's been my dream to be the head coach at Williams College. I didn't know — or think — I would get the opportunity this early."
App takes over a team, which finished 28-5 last season and reached the national championship game, losing in the final second of play to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 75-73. He also inherits a talented team that will return nine of 14 players from last season's run including rising seniors Daniel Wohl, Ryan Kilcullen and Hayden Rooke-Ley in addition to National Rookie of the Year Duncan Robinson.
"I think coaching at Williams means, first and foremost, being a teacher," App said. "All the head coaches at Williams are teaching the best and the brightest in a liberal arts setting. My goal is to get our guys to think critically and to grow as people over their time in our program. Coaching men's basketball at Williams also means being part of a great tradition of success. I am honored to be a part of that. My goal is do all that teaching while striving to maintain that tradition of excellence."
In just six seasons at Williams, Maker led the Ephs to three Final Fours (2010, 2011 & 2014), an Elite Eight (2013), and an overall record of 147-32, giving him the highest basketball winning percentage (.821) in school history.
App was a student-athlete in the men's basketball program four years at Cornell under Steve Donahue. He was voted tri-captain for his senior season. He graduated from Cornell with a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering in May of 2007.
App met his wife, the former Katelyn Brochu, at Williams while an assistant in 2008-09.
"I'm excited for the challenge," App said. "I can't wait to get started."