In a career that began as an assistant at Boston University in 1985, Bill Herrion has accumulated plenty of accolades along the way. Herrion, a multiple-time America East Champion, coach of the year and a member of the 400-win club has now added one more thing to the mantle – winningest head coach in UNH history.
Throughout six seasons from 1985-1991 Herrion worked as an assistant coach at BU and George Washington University. He finally got a chance to head his own program when he became the head coach at Drexel University. During his time there he finished atop the conference four times, became a three-time America East Champion, led his squad to six 20-win seasons, was named a four-time America East Coach of the Year and even cracked into the NCAA Tournament three times.
Herrion had a six-year stay at East Carolina University after leaving Drexel. He didn’t see the same success once he made the move down south. During his tenure at ECU he finished with a record of just 70-98 (.417) before making the move to UNH ahead of the 2005 season.
Since joining the Wildcats, he has collected a 187-265 (.411) record. His 186th win put him past the former head coach Gerry Friel. Friel coached from 1969-1989 for UNH.
186. That is the number that cemented Herrion into the UNH history books, but that’s not the narrative that he wants to be remembered for.
“There’s a lot of losses in there too,” mentioned Herrion after being honored at Lundholm Gymnasium.
While the team seems to be trending in the right direction under Herrion’s leadership – finishing four of the last six seasons with winning records – that hasn’t been enough for him, and he doesn’t want the attention.
“I tell these guys it’s not about me at all. It’s really not. If you come up to my office, it looks like a broom closet. There’s no pictures, there’s nothing in there that represents anything I do.”
He understands the struggles that come along with being a head coach for so long, never knowing what’s around the corner for the following season and will never take wins for granted.
The team won just five games last season and has described it as “rock bottom.” While the accolades are nice, Herrion’s made sure to note where his priorities remain.
“I’m just happy that these guys are enjoying winning, are feeling good about themselves and have a little bit of pride. I think that’s way more important to me than any individual accomplishment.”
He may be the all-time winningest head coach in UNH men’s basketball history, but there’s one thing that Herrion truly cares about when it comes to Wildcat basketball.
“I think all of us would trade anything to try and someday win a championship here and go to a tournament, that’s our ultimate goal.”