ELON, N.C. – Elon University head men’s basketball coach Mike Schrage announced Monday, April 29, the addition of Vince Walden to his coaching staff. Walden joins the staff as an assistant coach with 19 years of coaching experience, which include stops at Arkansas State, Liberty and the IMG Academy.
“I have known Vince since 2008 when he was the head coach at IMG Academy and I was recruiting his players there,” said Schrage. “He left an immediate impression on me with his positive energy, work ethic and genuine personality. We have stayed in touch and shared a vision about coaching and developing student-athletes. He builds meaningful relationships with people and especially those he coaches. He is connected throughout the country and will help us in every aspect as we build our program. We often talked about working together and I am just ecstatic that it has come to fruition. We are excited to welcome Vince, his wife – LaKeesha – and his children Vinson Jr., Zachary and Kari Grace to the Elon Family.”
Walden joins the Phoenix program after spending the past two seasons from 2017-19 as an assistant coach at Arkansas State. During his time there, he helped develop and coach USBWA All-District VII, NABC All-District 24 and All-Sun Belt selection Ty Cockfield. Prior to his time with the Red Wolves, Walden had two stints with IMG Academy basketball program in Bradenton, Fla. from 2006-12 and 2015-17 as the national team head coach. He also had a spent three seasons from 2012-15 as an assistant coach at Liberty University.
“Coach Mike Schrage is a winner and we’ve long talked about working together to build a program of excellence,” said Walden. “Having known him for many years, I’m delighted to help execute Coach Schrage’s vision here at Elon. Representing what’s best about college basketball, his integrity and commitment to developing student-athletes are second to none. My family and I are thankful for this opportunity and are excited to join the Elon community.”
Walden, a 2017 Naismith Trophy High School Boys Coach of the Year finalist, guided the Ascenders to a 26-2 record in 2016-17, as well as an appearance in the DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals as the No. 2 seed. He helped the team to a No. 1 ranking in the Max Preps poll in 2016-17 and finished with a 53-12 record over his last two seasons with IMG Academy. Trevon Duval, a McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic invitee, shined for Walden during his last season at IMG Academy, becoming the first player in the program to be invited to McDonald’s All-American game and third to play in the Jordan Brand Classic.
As head coach at IMG Academy, he oversaw four basketball teams and four coaches and was responsible for retention, player transitions and organizing future plans for graduating seniors. He is widely credited with building a culture that was centered on a positive and energetic atmosphere for players while teaching team and individual skills that developed character and leadership qualities, both on and off the court.
During his tenure at Liberty, Walden was an integral part in Liberty’s 2013 Big South Tournament championship run. The Flames rallied to win four-straight games against three of the top seeds in the tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament. While at Liberty, Walden trained and developed guard Davon Marshall, who was awarded the Big South Tournament MVP connecting on 17-of-24 3-point field goals. Marshall surpassed Seth Curry (102) for the most three-point field goals in a season with 107 in the 2012-13 season.
Prior to joining the Liberty staff, Walden had his first stint with the IMG Academy basketball program as the national team head coach and recruiting coordinator from 2006-12. He compiled a record of 146-56 record in that span and has a combined record of 201-68 in his time with the Ascenders. He has coached or developed more than 50 professional players, including 2014 second round NBA Draft picks Dwight Powell and DeAndre Daniels.
IMG is an internationally known Sports Academy, which conducts high-level training in basketball, tennis, golf and soccer. A graduate with a degree in social work from Longwood University in 2001, Walden was a four-year letterwinner in basketball and a three-year captain for the Lancers.
Walden comes to Elon along with his wife, Lakeesha, sons, Vinson Jr. and Zachary, and daughter Kari.
The Vince Walden File
Birthdate June 26, 1975 Alma Mater Longwood, 2001 Wife Lakeesha Walden Children Vinson Jr., Zachary and Kari
2001-06 AAU Head Coach/Director, Charlotte Royals/Charlotte Blazers/Fort Mill Timberwolves 2006-12 National Team Head Coach, IMG Academy 2012-15 Assistant Coach, Liberty University 2015-17 National Team Head Coach, IMG Academy 2017-19 Assistant Coach, Arkansas State 2019 Assistant Coach, Elon
1994-98 - Was a four-year letterwinner at Longwood - Two-year team captain - Bloomburg Invitational All-Tournament Team - Two-time Domino's Pizza Student-Athlete of the Week