VOL. 129 | NO. 139 | Friday, July 18, 2014
University of Memphis Confirms Lawson Hire
By Don Wade
The University of Memphis confirmed the worst-kept sports secret in town via its website Wednesday afternoon with the announcement that Tigers coach Josh Pastner had hired Keelon Lawson, recently the boys basketball head coach at Hamilton High School, as an assistant coach.
“We’re excited about Keelon joining our staff,” said Pastner. “Keelon is a great fit for our program. We welcome Keelon to the Tigers basketball family.”
Left unsaid in the announcement at gotigersgo.com: The fact that Lawson has two sons on the verge of starting their college careers and a third that might be considered the best prospect of the three.
K.J. Lawson (class of 2015) is a 6-foot-6 wing who already has verbally committed to Memphis and is considered a Top 50 prospect. Dedric Lawson (class of 2016) is a 6-foot-8 forward and rated as a Top 10 prospect. And Chandler (class of 2019), is a 6-foot-7 guard/forward and also considered a Top 10 prospect.
Lawson served as the Hamilton High School boys basketball head coach from 2003 through this past season. During that time, he guided the Wildcats to three Tennessee state playoff appearances (2006, 2008, 2014), two district titles (2006, 2007), two regional crowns (2006, 2014) and one state championship (2006).
His 2006 Hamilton squad posted a perfect 39-0 record on its way to winning the Tennessee state title. That squad is the last from the city of Memphis to post an undefeated record en route to claiming a state title. The 2006 Wildcats finished the season ranked No. 7 in the final USA Today Super 25 High School Boys Basketball poll.
“I’m thrilled and grateful for this opportunity,” Lawson said in the Tigers’ Web site report. “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Pastner and his staff to help carry on the great tradition of Tigers basketball.”
Lawson holds a bachelor’s degree from Union University.