Everick Sullivan | Head Coach
Hired on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Everick Sullivan is beginning his fourth year as Head Men's Basketball Coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Sullivan has increased the program's win total in each of his first three seasons, culminating with a 21-season in 2018-19 and the team's sixth NCAA appearance.
This past season, Sullivan's squad beat Queens and Lincoln Memorial in the same season for the first time since 2009 and the 21 wins match the most victories in a single season since the 2007-08 year. The Bears broke the single game record for most fields (44) and field goal attempts (83) in a game against Young Harris on Nov. 9 and also broke the single game record for blocked shots (11) against Mars Hill on Jan. 12. On Jan. 30, the Bears went to Charlotte to take on No. 6 Queens and handed the Royals a 92-79 loss which proved to be their only defeat in SAC play on the year. The Bears would topple Queens one more time on the year, defeating the No. 7 ranked Royals 83-68 in the semifinals of the SAC Tournament. Queens would advance to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Additional accolades in 2018-19 include the first SAC Tournament victory - 70-58 win over Tusculum - since 2009 and the first SAC Tournament Championship game appearance since 2005. Center Bertrand Awana broke the single season record for field goal percentage (63.3%) and Darius Simmons broke the single season 3-point percentage (56.5%) under Sullivan's watch and Jon Jean recorded the eighth-most assists in a season.
Prior to his arrival in Hickory, Sullivan spent four seasons as an Assistant Coach for Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga., under Head Coach Ron Hunter. Sullivan also served as an Associate Head Coach at Eastern Kentucky University and has over 12 years of experience as a collegiate basketball coach.
Sullivan's impact with the Georgia State University was immense. He was instrumental in guiding the Panthers to 87 victories, the most in any four-year stretch in program history.
His tenure was highlighted during the 2014-15 campaign with a 25-win season, Sun Belt Regular Season and Tournament Championships and a victory over third-seeded Baylor in the NCAA Tournament as the Panthers advanced to the third round for just the second time in school history.
The Panthers have won 25 games in 2013-14 and 2014-15, one of just 20 programs to accomplish the feat. Georgia State had won back-to-back Sun Belt regular season championships, going along with a tournament title in 2015 and a Postseason NIT appearance in 2014.
Before joining Georgia State in 2011, Sullivan spent three seasons with Eastern Kentucky University and helped the Colonels to 53 wins, when he spent two seasons as an assistant before being promoted to associate head coach in his final season.
In his last two seasons with Eastern Kentucky, the Colonels were among the top 10 in NCAA Division I in three-point shooting percentage, ranked second nationally in three-pointers made (10), assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.63) and third in fewest turnovers per game (9.6).
Prior to his three-year stint with Eastern Kentucky, Sullivan spent four years (2005-08) as Head Men's Basketball Coach at Vincennes (Ind.) University while compiling an impressive overall record of 107-26 (.804). In addition, Sullivan helped the Trailblazers advance to two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament appearances.
During the 2005-06 campaign, his team was ranked the ninth-best defense in the nation. He recruited and graduated 92 percent of all his student-athletes with 22 of his 24 players moving on to four-year institutions. In 2004-05, Sullivan served as the head coach at Lincoln Trial (Ill.) College, where he finished with a 28-5 record. He was named region and district coach of the year multiple times during his head coaching career.
He began his coaching career at Wabash Valley (Ill.) College, spending both the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons with the program.
The native of Simpsonville, S.C., played collegiate basketball at Louisville under Hall of Fame head coach Denny Crum from 1988-92. Sullivan played in three NCAA tournaments and is among the Cardinals all-time leaders in scoring (15th), assists (ninth), 3-point percentage (tenth) and dunks (tenth).
Sullivan earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Louisville. He played eight years of professional basketball in Finland, Portugal, Slovenia, Poland, Puerto Rico, Cyprus and Lebanon. In 1998, his team won the Cyprus league championship and he was voted Team Most Valuable Player.
Sullivan and his fiancee Michelle, have a daughter, Ellery, born Feb. 24, 2012.
Zack Corliss | Assistant Coach
Zach Corliss just finished his second year as an Assistant Coach for the Lenoir-Rhyne University Men's Basketball Team in 2018-19. Corliss came to LR after spending the two years as an Assistant Coach for Armstrong State University (2015-16 and 2016-17) out of Savannah, Ga.
In 2018-19, Corliss coached Djibril Diallo and Cory Thomas to All-Conference selections and helped lead the Bears to a pair of wins over Queens University who was ranked in the top-10 in the nation both times. Corliss also helped LR to a win over Lincoln Memorial for the first time since 2010. Also in 2018-19, Lenoir-Rhyne advanced to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship for the first time since 2005.
In his last season with the Pirates, Corliss coached Corey Tillery to All-Peach Beach Conference and league freshman-of-the-year accolades. Corliss also guided five players record 3.0 grade point averages or higher and led Shaquiell Mitchell to all-conference accolades in 2015-16.
While earning his master's degree in adult education from Armstrong State in 2015, Corliss served as a graduate assistant for the Pirates for two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15). Corliss received his bachelor's in health and physical education in 2013 from Armstrong State and served as a Volunteer Assistant for Windsor Forest High School (Ga.) in Savannah, Ga., for the 2012-13 academic year.
Corliss played four seasons for the Pirates (2008-12) and was part of the 2008-09 squad which finished with a 23-7 record, an NABC Top 25 national ranking and a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Corliss was also a Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honoree (2008-11).
A native of Hendersonville, N.C., Corliss was a standout player for West Henderson High School, earning all-league, all-area and All-Western Carolina honors while scoring over 1,000 points for his high school career.
Zach and his wife Ashley have a daughter Camri and live in Hickory.
Blake Simmons | Assistant Coach
Blake Simmons is entering his fifth year on the coaching staff for the Lenoir-Rhyne University Men's Basketball Team. Simmons was elevated to a full-time assistant after serving one season as a graduate assistant for the Bears.
Simmons has helped lead the Bears to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2016, 2019). Simmons helped coach the Bears to 21-win season in both NCAA Tournament years. Simmons coached SAC Player of the Year, Region Player of the Year and All-American Keenan Palmore and All-Conference player Will Perry.
In 2018-19, Simmons coached Djibril Diallo and Cory Thomas to All-Conference selections and helped lead the Bears to a pair of wins over Queens University who was ranked in the top-10 in the nation both times. Simmons also helped LR to a win over Lincoln Memorial for the first time since 2010. Also in 2018-19, Lenoir-Rhyne advanced to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship for the first time since 2005.
Simmons was Head Student Assistant Coach at Charlotte (2011-15) for four years where he assisted in recruiting and video and was BIG SHOTS Facility Director in 2015.
Simmons graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in history.