UNCW Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts reached back into his Hargrave Military Academy roots to complete his coaching staff, hiring former Tiger aide Thomas Carr as an assistant coach.
Carr recently completed his first season as an assistant at East Tennessee State following stops at basketball powers Chipola College and Hargrave Military Academy.
“Thomas served as my assistant in my last year at Hargrave and did a super job,” said Keatts, who took over the helm of the UNCW in early April. “He’s energetic and brings a strong work ethic and knowledge of the game to our program. Our fans and the entire Wilmington community will enjoy getting to know him.”
Keatts headed up Hargrave’s successful program for 10 seasons and, with Carr on his staff, piloted the Tigers to a sparkling 26-1 record during the 2010-11 campaign. Keatts moved on to Louisville in 2011-12 and helped Rick Pitino and the Cardinals win a pair of Big East Conference championships, two Final Four appearances and the National Championship in 2013.
Carr’s appointment gives the Seahawks three ties to the prolific Hargrave program. In addition to Keatts and Carr, new assistant Takayo Siddle played and coached at Hargrave before arriving in the Port City.
“UNCW is a sleeping giant,” said Carr. “With the support we have from the administration, the beautiful campus, our location in general, and the style Coach Keatts likes to play, there’s no doubt in my mind we can bounce back in a big way if our guys buy in to playing hard and playing together.
“Working with Coach Keatts is something I’ve wanted to do since college. I believe in him and everything he’s about, both on and off the floor. As good of a situation as I had at ETSU with Coach (Murry) Bartow and the players, I knew in my heart if Coach Keatts called me, there was no way I would be able to turn him down.”
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Carr graduated from St. John’s Jesuit High School in 2003 and played one year at Hargrave, helping to lead the Tigers to the 2003-04 Prep School National Championship. He then starred at Pfeiffer and finished second in three-point field goals made during his senior year as a team captain for Coach Clyde Chapman’s team.
Carr began his coaching career at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida. He was the recruiting coordinator, academic advisor and strength and conditioning coach for current Samford assistant coach Jake Hendrick before heading back to Hargrave for one year in 2010-11.
After a successful season at Hargrave, Carr accepted his first head coaching position at George Washington High School in nearby Danville, Virginia. The Eagles went 25-3, led the state of Virginia in scoring with 88.0 points per game and finished ranked 15th in the AAA classification. Carr was named the Western District Coach-of-the-Year in 2011-12.
Carr joined the ETSU staff in June of 2013 and helped the Bucs compile a 19-16 record this past year and advance to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The addition of Carr is the final piece to the staff puzzle for Keatts, who has tabbed Carr, Siddle and Casey Stanley as assistant coaches and Kevin Easley as director of men’s basketball operations.