Paul Hewitt completed his third season as the head men’s basketball coach at George Mason after the 2013-14 campaign. He was named the ninth head coach in George Mason men’s basketball program history on May 2, 2011.
Hewitt guided the Patriots through their inaugural season in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the most recent season with the team finishing the season with an 11-20 overall mark and 4-12 league mark. Two Patriots surpassed career milestones during the season as Sherrod Wright became the 13th player in program history to reach 1,500-career points, while classmate Bryon Allen crossed 1,000-career points to become the 33rd Patriot in program history to reach the mark. Redshirt freshman Jalen Jenkins, who led the team in rebounding, was honored by the A-10 as a three-time Rookie of the Week and capped his freshman campaign earning a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie Team.
Hewitt guided the Patriots to a 22-16 mark during the 2012-13 season, highlighted by a trip to the College Basketball Invitational finals. Under Hewitt's tutelage, junior guard Sherrod Wright was named to the All-State and All-CAA second teams.
In his first year, Hewitt led the Patriots to a 24-win season including a 14-4 mark in CAA play, and helped guide senior Ryan Pearson to the CAA Player of the Year award. Pearson was just the third Patriot to earn the honor, and was also Hewitt's first player to receive top conference individual honors.
Hewitt arrived in Fairfax following 11 years as the head coach at Georgia Tech.
In 11 seasons under Hewitt, Tech went to the NCAA Tournament five times, played for a national championship, played for two ACC championships, advanced to the Postseason NIT quarterfinals and won the Preseason NIT. He restored a national profile to Tech basketball with traditional values, instilling in his program the importance of strong defense, teamwork and sharing the basketball, individual skill development and mental preparation.
Hewitt compiled a record of 190-162 at Tech, and his overall record as a head coach is 256-189, with eight post-season appearances in 14 years. Hewitt expanded his experience by twice serving as an assistant coach for USA Basketball's U18 team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, helping the U.S. win a gold medal each time. He was named head coach for the 2011 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team. He finished his Tech career third among active coaches in the ACC in games coached and fourth in career victories. He ranks 17th in career victories all-time.
Born in Jamaica and reared on New York's Long Island, Hewitt received his highest accolades for guiding the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA in his very first season in 2001, and for taking them within one win of a national championship three years later in 2004. That season, Hewitt went to work with a team that had lost its two best rebounders, including Chris Bosh, who left Tech after one season to play in the NBA. Despite preseason predictions that had Tech finishing no better than seventh in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets started 12-0 and finished 28-10, tying a school record for victories in a season.
Along the way, Tech won the Preseason NIT, and in the process defeated a team ranked No. 1 in the country (Connecticut) for the first time in 11 years. Tech achieved its highest ACC regular season finish in eight years (a tie for third at 9-7). The Yellow Jackets, who posted a 9-6 record against Top 25 teams, defeated Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium to end a 41-game homecourt winning streak for the Blue Devils, and won at Wake Forest to snap a 24-game streak at home for the Demon Deacons.
Tech's success led to Hewitt receiving the Fritz Pollard Coach of the Year award by the Black College Coaches Association. He also was listed at No. 71 among the nation's 101 top minorities in sports by Sports Illustrated. Only 15 figures in college athletics, and only four men's basketball coaches, made that list.
Though Tech dealt with a number of injuries to key players the following season, Hewitt again guided the Yellow Jackets to a strong finish, tying for fourth place in the regular season and advancing to the championship game of the ACC Tournament, a first for the Jackets under Hewitt. Tech earned its third NCAA bid under Hewitt, and fourth post-season bid overall, and won its first-round game before being eliminated by Louisville. He guided Jackets back to the Big Dance in 2007 despite losing the team's top scorer in December.
In 2010, despite a strong reliance on four freshmen in his eight-man rotation, Hewitt guided the Jackets to their fourth NCAA Tournament, winning 23 games overall. Tech won three games in the ACC Tournament and lost a close game to Duke in the finals, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
In his very first season on the Flats, despite the prevailing pre-season opinions that had Tech finishing no better than eighth in the ACC and gave the Jackets little chance for a winning record, Hewitt guided a veteran squad with five seniors to an 8-8 record and a fifth-place finish in the nation's toughest conference. Tech's 17-13 record marked its first winning season since 1998, and the Jackets won their first ACC Tournament game and earned their first trip to the Big Dance since 1996.
Hewitt was recognized as the ACC Coach of the Year, only the second time in league history that a first-year coach had won the award. He was also named District 5 Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and was a finalist for the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award.
Six of his players have earned first- or second-team All-ACC honors, including Iman Shumpert (second team in 2011), Jarrett Jack (second team in 2005), B.J. Elder (second team in 2004), Bosh (second team in 2003), Tony Akins (second team in 2002) and Alvin Jones (first team in 2001).
The recruiting efforts of Hewitt and his staff also resulted in strong contributions from Tech's players early in their careers as well. Three Tech players were named ACC Rookie of the Year, including Derrick Favors in 2010, Chris Bosh in 2003 and Ed Nelson in 2002. Seven players were named to the league's all-freshman team under Hewitt.
Several Tech players under Hewitt have gone on to play basketball professionally, including first-round draft picks Derrick Favors, the third overall pick by new Jersey in 2010; Chris Bosh, an NBA lottery choice in 2003 who is now with the Miami Heat; Jack, a first-round pick in 2005 now a point guard for the New Orleans Hornets; Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia) and Javaris Crittenton (Memphis), first-round choices in 2007; and Alvin Jones, a second-round choice in 2001 who spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers. Will Bynum and Luke Schenscher, seniors in 2005, as well as former walk-on Mario West, have spent time in NBA rosters, while four-year player Anthony Morrow is currently active with New Jersey.
Three of his assistant coaches became head coaches -- Dean Keener at James Madison, Cliff Warren at Jacksonville and John O'Connor at Holy Family in Philadelphia -- while two players became assistants (Jon Babul at James Madison, Darryl LaBarrie at Campbell, East Carolina and Georgia Tech).
Off the court, Hewitt involved himself in the Atlanta community. He conducts an annual golf outing and auction to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlanta. He also serves on the board of directors for Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out for Children (H.E.R.O.), which organizes activities and benefits HIV-infected children, and Camp Twin Lakes, which works with children with serious illnesses and special needs.
In the spring of 2009, Hewitt became part of a coalition of representatives of all levels of basketball -- NCAA, NBA, AAU, WNBA, USA Basketball, among others -- that began an initiative to improve the quality of youth basketball in America. He is the only NCAA Division I coach on the panel. In May of 2007, he was named to the 27-member panel of the NCAA's Acadamic Enhancement Group, which is charged with developing strategies to improve academic performance and graduation rates in Division I men's basketball.
In 2004, he conducted the Paul Hewitt Teamwork Summit, bringing together prominent figures in sports and Atlanta business circles to teach and promote leadership techniques. He serves on the board of directors for the Black Coaches Association, and frequently participates in public forums on issues facing college basketball and the student-athletes that participate in the sport.
Tech's success under Hewitt should come as no surprise. Prior to his arrival in Atlanta, he posted a 66-27 mark as the head coach at Siena. At the Loudonville, N.Y., school, Hewitt revived a program that had been dormant since the mid-90's and molded it into one of the best in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and among the best in the Northeast.
In three seasons at Siena, Hewitt developed one of the nation's highest scoring teams. Siena ranked third nationally in scoring each of his last two seasons there, and in three seasons the team averaged 85.6 points per game while shooting 38.1 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line.
Following a three-year stretch in which Siena won just 22 games, Hewitt guided a young Saints team to a 17-12 overall record in his first season, including a 10-8 mark in the MAAC and the school's first-ever berth in the MAAC Tournament title game. In his second year, Siena went 25-6 and earned the school's first-ever MAAC Tournament Championship and its the first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1989.
Hewitt guided the Saints to their first-ever outright conference regular-season title in 2000. Siena finished the season with a 24-9 overall mark and a MAAC-best 15-3 slate. He directed the Saints to their third consecutive MAAC Championship game appearance, and second consecutive postseason berth with a bid to the NIT.
Hewitt came to Siena from the venerable Big East program at Villanova, where he spent five seasons (1992-97) as an assistant to head coach Steve Lappas. During his final season in Philadelphia, Hewitt was promoted to associate head coach. While there, Hewitt helped lead the Wildcats to four straight 20-win seasons, three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, and an NIT Championship in 1994. In 1997, Villanova was the No. 4 seed in the East Region, finishing the season with a 24-10 record.
In his time at Villanova, he helped the Wildcats land four top-20 recruiting classes from 1993 to 1997. Included in those classes were Tim Thomas, the nation's top-ranked high school senior in 1996, as well as Alvin Williams and Malik Allen, all of whom are active in the NBA.
Prior to his stint at Villanova, Hewitt served as an assistant coach at Fordham for two years (1990-92), when the Rams posted a 45-18 mark. During those two seasons, the Bronx school won two straight Patriot League regular-season championships and made the NCAA Tournament in 1992.
He moved to Fordham after spending a year under George Raveling at Southern California, where he served as a graduate assistant. Hewitt's first collegiate job came as an assistant coach at C.W. Post on Long Island during the 1988-89 school year. He helped guide the Pioneers to the ECAC New York State Division Championship that season.
Hewitt spent three years as the junior varsity head coach at his alma mater, Westbury High School on Long Island (1985-88), following his graduation from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. Hewitt returned to St. John Fisher last May to deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree (see photo gallery link above).
Born on May 4, 1963, in Kingston, Jamaica, Hewitt and his family moved to Queens, N.Y., when he was eight years old. He attended Westbury High School, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and economics from St. John Fisher in 1985. Hewitt was a four-year letterwinner and served as the Cardinals' captain as a senior. He also worked toward a post-graduate degree in counseling and high school guidance at Long Island University and C.W. Post during the early stages of his coaching career.
Hewitt and his wife, Dawnette, have three daughters, Olivia, Danielle and Kayla.