Denny Wills Named to Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame

Denny Wills

Denny Wills

May 4, 2012

CHICAGO - Denny Wills, who has spent the past 25-plus years at UIC as an assistant basketball coach and athletic administrator, was named to the Chicago Catholic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Wills became a member of the organization's 52nd class Thursday night.

Wills graduated from St. Laurence High School in 1971, where he was a two-time (1970 and 1971) Catholic League All-Star during his playing career. He played his college basketball at St. Xavier, and upon graduating (1975), returned to the University as a teacher and the Dean of Discipline. Wills was named to the St. Xavier Hall of Fame in 1990, and was inducted into the St. Laurence High School Hall of Fame in 2006.

Wills served as an assistant men's basketball coach at St. Xavier, Chicago State and UIC for a combined 21 years. In 1977, he was named the head coach at St. Xavier - during the three years he was in charge, Wills' teams posted a 62-38 record and recorded two 20-win seasons. In 1978, he was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

On Bob Hallberg's coaching staff at UIC, Wills helped recruit and coach Kenny Williams and Sherell Ford, the second and third all-time leading scorers in program history. Wills also earned a Master's Degree and a pair of teaching certificates from Chicago State in 1982.

Over the past 25-plus years, Wills has served in various capacities as an administrator at UIC, including directing the Flames' academic services, while also serving as eligibility coordinator, life skills director and liaison for UIC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Wills, who was elevated to associate athletic director in 2001, is also the sport program liaison for baseball, men's basketball and volleyball. Currently the department's Special Assistant for Athletics, Wills is nearing the end of his 41st year as a collegiate student-athlete, coach and administrator.