|Alma Mater:||Mount St. Mary's|
In just four seasons, head coach Jamion Christian has led Mount St. Mary’s back to the top of the Northeast Conference. After taking the Mount to the Northeast Conference title game in his first season, Christian guided the Mount to the NEC title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2014. He has guided the Mountaineers to a winning record in NEC play in each of his four seasons, the first time that has happened since the Mount joined the NEC in 1989-90.
Christian led the Mountaineers to an 88-71 victory over Robert Morris in the NEC championship game in 2014 to seal the Mount’s first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 2008. Christian’s team finished the regular season in fourth place, earning the school’s first NEC Tournament home game since 2010. The Mount staged a historic rally in that game, coming back from a 19-point deficit with just over nine minutes left to edge St. Francis Brooklyn, 72-71, in the NEC Quarterfinals. The Mount then downed second-seeded Wagner on the road in the semifinals to earn a spot in the championship game for the second consecutive season.
The Mountaineers faced Albany in the 2014 NCAA Tournament First Round in Dayton, Ohio. After falling behind 21-2 in the opening minutes, the Mountaineers roared back with a 21-2 run of its own to even the score. The Mountaineers, however, came up short in a 71-64 loss that saw a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final minute rattle in-and-out.
A 2004 graduate of the Mount, Christian was named the 22nd coach in Mount St. Mary’s history on March 26, 2012. In his inaugural season, Christian guided the Mountaineers to an 18-14 record and a spot in the NEC Championship game.
Christian’s first season definitely provided excitement as the 18 wins were the fourth-most by a Mount team since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89 while the team also had a nine-game win streak, the third-longest streak by a Mount team in the Division I era. It was the Mount’s first winning season since 2009-10 and the Mountaineers appeared in the NEC Championship game for the first time since 2009.
Christian refers to his team’s style of play as Mayhem, which features a pressing defense and an offense reliant on the three-point shot. The top three single-season records for three-point attempts are all during Christian's tenure, while the team set school records for three-pointers made in each of his first two seasons.
One of the youngest coaches in NCAA Division I at 32 years old, Christian’s first recruit at the Mount, guard Shivaughn Wiggins, was named the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2012-13. Under Christian, the Mount has had four players earn All-NEC honors and two more named to the All-Rookie team.
Christian was a finalist for both the Ben Jobe Award and the Joe B. Hall Award in 2013. The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in division I men's basketball, while the Joe B. Hall Award goes to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball.
Christian was an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth under Shaka Smart in 2011-12, helping guide the Rams to the Third Round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. VCU won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title and finished with a school-record 29 wins this year. VCU led the NCAA in steals and steals per game. Christian worked hand-in-hand with VCU starting shooting guard Troy Daniels, who broke the school record for three-pointers made.
Prior to his time at VCU, he spent three years at William & Mary. In three seasons with the Tribe, he helped usher in a new era of basketball. The Tribe made their second postseason appearance in school history in 2010 and recorded the third most wins in school history with 22.
On the recruiting trail, he aided in the Tribe's 2010 recruiting class that was ranked among the best in "Mid-Major" classes in the country and the best in the CAA by ESPN.com and Scouts, Inc. During his time with William & Mary, Christian was responsible for recruiting in Virginia, Texas and the Washington, D.C. region.
One of the foundations for Christian's style of play came from his first collegiate job as an assistant coach at Emory & Henry. In 2005-06, Emory & Henry averaged 104.3 points and 17.6 three-point field goals made per game. Christian moved on to serve as the Director of Basketball Operations at Bucknell Univeristy the next two seasons.
As a player, Christian was a three-year captain at the Mount, scoring 581 points in 90 career games and 56 starts. He led the Mount in scoring at 11.3 points per game in 2001-02 and averaged 8.2 points the following season.
During his senior year at New Kent High School, Christian led his squad to an undefeated season and a VHSL State Championship.
The Christian File
Year Overall/NEC Notes
2012-13 18-14/11-7 Advanced to NEC Championship Game
2013-14 16-17/9-7 NCAA Tournament
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT JAMION CHRISTIAN
SHAKA SMART, VCU Head Coach
“I think he’s got a great perspective on the game, and it’s different, much different than anyone else on our staff because of his background and who he’s worked for. That’s always something you invite. You don’t want to bring someone in that has the exact same views as you and knows the same things as you because then they basically become a ‘yes’ man. Jamion’s brought up a bunch of interesting ideas that the rest of us haven’t thought of.”
TONY SHAVER, WILLIAM & MARY Head Coach
“Jamion’s work ethic and ability to relate to young people makes him a great recruiter. He displays maturity beyond his years and contributed in every facet to our program. Jamion has groomed himself by working and playing for a number of exceptional head coaches like Jim Phelan, Pat Flannery at Bucknell and Bob Johnson at Emory and Henry.”
Holland, a 2010 Mount St. Mary’s graduate, returns to his alma mater after serving as an assistant coach at Saint Francis University the past three seasons, working primarily with the perimeter players. The Red Flash ranked in the top three in the NEC in three-point percentage the past two seasons, while leading the conference in three-point defense. Holland helped guide Malik Harmon to NEC Rookie of the Year honors in 2013-14.
Holland traveled Europe playing one season with the Academica De Coimbra squad in the Liga Portuguesa Basquetebol League from 2010 to 2011. A First Team Starting Five selection in the Poruguese Final Eight Cup, Holland contended on the international level.
Following his action in Portugal, he returned to the United States for a national tour with the renowned Washington Generals. After his brief stunt with the Generals he revisited the LPB to play for the Victoria Sport Clube in the fall of 2012. Succeeding his return trip to Portugal, he ended his professional career with the Nuevo Laredo Turos in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Holland is a 2010 graduate of Mount St. Mary's holding a degree in Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration. He was a team captain his junior and senior seasons, a two-time participant in the Northeast Conference championships and conference semifinals, and led the NEC in 3-point percentage (51%) in 2009-10.
Holland attended Lamar High School in Houston, Texas.
“We have as special a tradition here at the Mount, and Will has been a huge part of that tradition from the day he set foot on this campus some years ago,” said Christian. “We want to be a program that appreciates our tradition and has a great respect for those who walked the same steps that our players do each day. I've always been impressed with Will and his ability to improve players either at the high school level or at Saint Francis. One thing you could always count on is that wherever Will was working, that their players would improve year in and year out. That's what Mount basketball is and that's how we are going to be relevant in college basketball. Hard work, diligence and complete understanding of the needs of our players.”
Bousley joins the Mount staff this season after serving as the director of operations at Rice the past two years. Prior to his time at Rice, Bousley was a graduate assistant coach at VCU the previous two seasons, helping lead the Rams to 53 wins and two trips to the NCAA Tournament.
A Los Angeles native, he worked as the head student manager at Wisconsin, graduating with degrees in biomedical engineering and history in 2012. During his four years on campus, the Badgers won 95 games, advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times, and had a pair of Sweet Sixteen appearances.
“Coach Shaka Smart connected Graham and I together three years ago at the final four,” said Christian. “Graham has an outstanding offensive mind and feel for the game. His college experience both as an undergrad and a grad positioned him with two elite coaches (Bo Ryan and Smart). I love those who can bring different ways of thought to our basketball program. For us to continue to improve, we must constantly be evaluating what is working through all forms of basketball and Graham will do an excellent job in this area. He also spent time with my good friend Mike Rhoades, who has known me since I was 16 years and who I see has basketball knowledge being second to none.”
Boatner joins the Mount coaching staff after serving the past two seasons as a graduate manager at Indiana University. A Bloomingon, Indiana, native, Boatner played his collegiate basketball at William and Mary.
While at William and Mary, he played in 124 games, fourth most in school history, while averaging 4.9 points. He finished his career ranked sixth in 3-point percentage (.383), seventh in 3-pointers made (161) and 13th in 3-pointers made per game (1.3). A team captain, he was named the winner of the Kraze Award, given to the Tribe player who embodies the traits for former team captain John Kratzer, who received the inaugural United States Basketball Writers Association Most Courageous Athlete award after battling cancer.
A graduate of Bloomington North High School, he was an Indiana All-Star and an All-State selection for the Cougars after averaging 18.1 points as a senior and 21.3 points as a junior. He is the son of Melvin and Nancy Boatner. His brother, Kelvin, played four years for the Naval Academy.
“I love that he played for me at an early stage in my career,” said Christian. “I've always been impressed with his knowledge of the game, his unselfishness as a person and his ability to connect with players. His time spent in one of the most elite programs in the country and under one of the guys I respect the most in this business (Tom Crean) makes him a perfect fit for our program. I believe his playing experience and understanding of how to develop players will really impact our guards right away.”
Miller is in her third season as the Mount's Coordinator of Basketball Operations. A 2013 graduate of the Mount, Miller served as a team manager from 2010-13.
A graduate assistant at the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business at the Mount last year, Miller was the Mount's head manager her final two seasons with the program. Her duties included overseeing all of the team's managers, setting up and cleaning up after practice, packing for away games and organizing and ordering food for postgame meals.
Miller served as the head coach of the seventh and eighth grade girls basketball team at Biglerville Junior High last year. She was also an assistant track and field coach for Biglerville High School's varsity team in 2013-14.
A graduate of the Mount's Sport Management program, Miller received her MBA from the Mount in May 2015. She served as a graduate assistant for the Bolte School of Business in 2013-14.
"Justine has been a huge part of our program for more than three seasons now," said Christian. "Her work as a student manager separated her from the rest, and her passion for helping us build the Mount into an elite program has never waived. She is as exceptional of a person that I have had the opportunity to work with over my ten plus years of coaching. I am thrilled to have her join the staff."