Director of Athletics Myra Sims is pleased to announce the hiring of Emilee Dunton as the new head basketball coach at Hollins University. The position was vacated in August when previous head coach Jenny Logan resigned to accept the coaching position at Eastern Mennonite University.
Upon accepting the position, Dunton said, “I am humbled and honored to be named the next head basketball coach at Hollins University.” Continuing, “I’d like to thank Myra Sims and the search committee for entrusting me to lead the basketball program. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Hollins community with Director of Athletics Myra Sims and President Lawrence. I truly believe with the current administration and the quality of academics, the women’s basketball program will become a respected program within the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).”
Dunton will take over the program after a successful three year stint as head coach at Liberty High School in Bedford, VA. She led the team to two conference championship appearances and was selected as the Conference 30 Coach of the Year in 2016. Emilee is no stranger to the ODAC, having graduated from Randolph College in 2015. While a member of the WildCat basketball team, Dunton was a captain and a key part of a 2014 squad that tied the program record for wins in a season. She was an Academic All ODAC and VaSID Academic All State selection while competing at Randolph. Emilee was on the Randolph College Dean’s List as well as a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Student-Athlete Honor Society.
“I am thrilled to have Emilee become the next head basketball coach at Hollins University.” says Sims, “She is an energetic and committed young coach who has done an outstanding job with the program at Liberty High School. She has an extensive network of well-respected basketball coaches who expressed a high level of respect for her basketball IQ and her ability to effectively transition into collegiate coaching.”
In her first stint as a coach in the collegiate ranks, Dunton will draw on her vast experience in the game. Dunton finished her high school career at Brookville ranked third all-time in VHSL for career assists and also played for the AAU Team Virginia program, coached by her father, that won two national championships. After high school, Emilee spent time at Longwood (DI) and Francis Marion (DII) before returning to Lynchburg to earn her degree and compete at the DIII level. She has amassed a network of respected basketball mentors from her own playing career in the region, her successful time coaching at Liberty and through her work at various basketball camps.
“Several of her references referred to her as a ‘rising star’ in the college coaching ranks so I am thrilled that she will lead the program at Hollins.” Sims continued, “She demonstrated a strong vision for the program and convinced us during the interview process of her ability to effectively sell that vision to current and future Hollins players.”
Head basketball coach Gayle Coats Fulks, Davidson College, is excited for Dunton and Hollins. “Hollins University has hit a home-run! Emilee is a relentless recruiter, a talented basketball coach, and a person who cares deeply about her players. She will bring incredible energy and enthusiasm to the program and bring out the best in everyone around her. Emilee has a very bright future ahead of her and I am excited to see her lead Hollins University to new heights.”
Within the ODAC, Dunton is also receiving high praises. “This is a slam dunk hire for Hollins University. Director of Athletics, Myra Sims knows what it takes to be successful and she found a rising star in Emilee Dunton.” Hampden-Sydney head basketball coach Dee Vick would continue, “Emilee worked our camp years ago and I was impressed with her ability to demand respect, teach the game and have fun at the same time. I have followed her career from a distance and enjoyed watching her teams excel. Emilee is a successful coach’s daughter, she possesses a high basketball IQ and she has the energy and competitive spirit to improve Hollins basketball. The greatest compliment I can give Coach Dunton is that my wife and I would be thrilled if our daughter decided to play for her.”
Dunton will begin her duties at Hollins in late September. “Hollins basketball will place a priority on building campus spirit, community involvement, and playing winning basketball. I can’t wait to meet the players and get started!”DIII Head Coach