Pete Strickland - Assistant Coach (Pittsburgh '79)
Pete Strickland brings 17 years of Division I coaching experience to Sidney Lowe's first staff, including seven years as a head coach. Strickland spent seven seasons (1999-05) at the helm of Coastal Carolina, where he was the 2000 Big South Coach of the Year. He left the Chanticleer program with the second most career victories in school history.
While at Coastal Carolina, Strickland helped produce three All-Americans, three Big South Conference Players of the Year, two Big South Rookies of the Year. Strickland's players also did well in the classroom, posting the highest graduation rate of any Division I football, baseball or basketball program in the state of South Carolina according to NCAA statistics.
Prior to his stint at Coastal Carolina, Strickland spent 10 seasons at three different Division I schools as an assistant coach. He was on staff at Dayton (1995-98), Old Dominion (1992-94) and VMI(1989-91), serving as current Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell's top assistant while at both Dayton and Old Dominion.
|Strickland's players also did well in the classroom, posting the highest graduation rate of any Division I football, baseball or basketball program in the state of South Carolina according to NCAA statistics.|
A native of Washington, D.C., Strickland played for Basketball Hall of Famer Morgan Wootten at DeMatha High School, graduating in 1975. As a senior, he helped lead the team to the DCCity Championship and was named first-team All-State.
Strickland was a four-year letterwinner, a three-year starter and a two-year captain at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his playing career as the school's all-time leader in assists, and earned his degree in speech and theater in 1979. He was a teammate of fellow Wolfpack assistant coach Larry Harris.
After graduating college, Strickland coached and played professionally for the Neptune Basketball Club in Cork, Ireland from 1980 to 1982. In 1981-82, the team posted an 18-0 record and won the Division II National Championship. Strickland then coached one season at Mt. St. Michael Academy in Bronx, N.Y., before rejoining Coach Wootten at DeMatha High School as the assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach. After three seasons at DeMatha, Strickland served as head coach at Raleigh's Ravenscroft High School the season before landed his first college coaching job at VMI.
Strickland and his wife, Mary Catherine, have three children, Meaghan, Michael and Conor.
Levi Watkins - Administrative Assistant (NC State '05)
Levi Watkins, a four-year letterwinner for the Wolfpack, returns to his role as administrative assistant after leaving temporarily to serve in that same capacity at Arizona State University. Watkins will assist the basketball staff with day-to-day operations for the second straight season.
Watkins played for NC State from the 2002-05 seasons, appearing in 97 career games and connecting on 82 career three-pointers. He came to Raleigh after playing his prep ball at prestigious Montrose Christian High School, where he was a 2001 Parade All-American and led his team to a final top-25 national ranking. As a senior, Watkins was named the Gatarode Player of the Year in Maryland.
Watkins graduated from NC State with a bachelor degree in business management in the spring of 2005.