Tilley was recently named an assistant coach with the boys basketball team at Mount Paran Christian, according to head coach Rob Strong.
The 34-year head coaching veteran had spent the past two seasons as a women’s basketball assistant at High Point University, but the pull to return to metropolitan Atlanta and Kennesaw proved to be too much.
So, when the Eagles announced they had a position open with the team, Tilley inquired and Strong was willing to listen.
“I thought he’d make a great addition to our staff,” said Strong, who is entering his second season at the helm of the Eagles. “He brings so much experience. He coached at Kennesaw State and at other colleges. He’s a man with 35 to 39 years of experience in this business. That’s huge, and there’s no doubt he’ll be a benefit to the team this year.”
Tilley holds a 742-328 collegiate coaching record with stops at Truett-McConnell, Auburn-Montgomery and Kennesaw State, where he coached the Owls from 1995-2012. The winningest coach in Kennesaw State women’s basketball history, he went 300-208 during his time at KSU and helped guide the team through their transition into Division I. He reached the NCAA Division II elite eight in 1997 and 1999.
Multiple messages left for Tilley seeking comment on the position were not returned.
“We had an opening and Tilley sent me an email,” Strong said. “I gave him a call and we talked and one thing led to another.
“He wanted to retire in the area because he has family here and wanted to be around them. But, he also still wanted to coach. He’s a Christian man, so it was a good fit for both of us.”
Strong said Tilley will coach the Eagles’ post players and assist with game-planning.
“He felt comfortable working with our post guys, so that’s where he’ll be able to help us out,” Strong said. “He’ll also be involved with the general X’s and O’s of our offense.
“Just like how football coaches give assistants responsibilities with certain position groups, I bring a football mentality to my assistant coaches and divide duties as necessary. Coach Tilley being involved with our post players will help make our team better.”
Mount Paran finished 5-17 overall and 2-12 in region play last year in Strong’s first season as coach. Strong and the Eagles are confident Tilley’s experience will pay immediate dividends.
“We’re extremely excited to have him,” Strong said. “He has a great knowledge of the game and he’ll be a strong Christian role model for our players. He’s great with kids and knows how to relate to players.
“Anytime you can bring someone like him on your staff, it’s a good thing for everybody.”