By Philander Forward
Philander Smith College has tapped a former first-round NBA Draft pick and the Arkansas Razorbacks’ all-time leading scorer to lead its Men’s Basketball Program. PSC President Dr. Roderick L. Smothers announced today that Todd Day, Sr., is the new Men’s Head Coach. Day takes over from former Head Coach Thurlon “Sam” Weaver who resigned in April.
A four- year letterman at the University of Arkansas from 1989-1992, Day was coached by the legendary Nolan Richardson. As a Razorback, Day broke records, was an All-American, led the team to an SEC title and a NCAA Final Four appearance, and to this day holds the title of all-time leading scorer. In 1992, he was selected in the first round (8 th pick) of the NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. His NBA career also includes stints with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Day embarked on a coaching career in 2007, and has since coached on the junior high, high school, and semi-pro levels. More recently, Day, who is a native of Memphis, Tenn., was head coach at Memphis Academy of Health and Sciences, and spent two seasons as head coach at his high school alma mater, Memphis’ Hamilton High. Additionally, he has experience as an assistant coach with “Team Penny,” the Memphis-based AAU team founded by former NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.
“I felt like coaching on the college level at Philander Smith College was a natural next step in my career,” said Day. “Little Rock is like my second home, and it feels good to be able to come back and play a significant role in this community.” Day, inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, is married to Brenda Swinton-Day, who is from Little Rock.
The new coach is inheriting a competitive program. The Panthers have had three consecutive NAIA national tournament appearances and won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championship during the 2012–2013 season. “Todd Day brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to the Men’s Basketball program at Philander Smith College. The game of basketball has taken him all over the world, so he enjoys a unique perspective that will benefit our student-athletes and serve to strengthen our athletic program,” said President Smothers.
As he looks ahead to the upcoming season, Day says players and fans can expect a fast-paced and energetic style of basketball that will be exciting to watch. “I set my goals high, and all I can say is, I plan to win.”
Philander Smith is a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference of the NAIA.