Ever since joining the Maryville College women’s basketball program in 2010, head coach Darrin Travilian has instilled and maintained a winning culture. After winning the Great South Athletic Conference Title in his second season, the Scots have won back to back USA South titles, appearing in the NCAA Tournament all three years.
His 100th victory came in the form of a convincing 64-47 win over William Peace University on Saturday, Jan 17, making Travilian one of just three coaches who have reached the mark in the program’s history. He also stands as the fastest coach to reach that mark, doing so in just 125 games.
The Scots victory over N.C. Wesleyan on Sunday put his overall record at 101-25 midway through his fifth season.
Despite the magnitude of the milestone, Travilian offered it little thought in the time leading up to it.
“I didn’t start thinking about it until about 98 or 99 to be honest,” Travilian said. “I really tried not to think about it at all… My hope was that if we played well all year, the 100th win would just be a by-product of that.”
The Scots are 13-1 overall and 5-0 in USA South Conference play thus far, recently earning them a no. 22 ranking in the nation. Travilian’s mentality of taking games one at a time has been instilled in his players, who also didn’t let the approaching milestone shift their focus.
“He [Travilian] approached it like every other game,” said Joanna Young, junior guard for the Scots. “He never spoke a word of how we had to win… and if some girls felt pressured to win, it wasn’t talked about.”
One thing that was different about this game, however, was the celebration planned afterwards. The Scots had a cake made for their coach and gifted him two framed pictures that they all signed, along with the game ball from the victory.
“We didn’t really have a plan B,” Young said. “I guess we kind of knew we were going to get the win, and we were all excited to get it for him and ourselves.”
The confidence Young expressed about the team knowing they would win may have stemmed from their opponent’s 4-6 record, but it also could have come from the team’s competitive nature, which Travilian noted:
“We’ve had years where we’ve gotten off to some pretty good starts… but the thing about this year’s team that I really like is that they have a different level of desperation to win… they want to win every single time we play. If we have a shooting drill, they want to beat each other in practice. They’re very, very competitive, in a healthy way. They’re trying to push each other, and everything is about winning, and I think you see that when we’re out there on the floor.”
Travilian and the Scots are on track to win their third consecutive USA South Southern Division Title and potentially much more than that. Their only loss this year came from no. 2 ranked Thomas Moore, who is undefeated at 13-0.
“Playing under him [Travilian] is simply a privilege,” said Young, who is in her first year at MC after transferring from Roane State. “He knows what he wants and knows how to push us to get what he wants accomplished.”
Though Travilian is more proud of his team’s accomplishments than his personal milestones, it’s difficult for him to ignore Wes Moore’s standing record of 129 wins as head coach for the Scots.
“I’m going to pass Wes Moore,” he said. “Then we’ll go from there.”
At this rate, Travilian is likely to pass Moore by next season, now only 28 wins away.
“I like him better than coaches I’ve had in the past, and the program is one of the best I’ve been a part of,” Young said. “There is talent all across the roster and on the staff… It’s a winning program.”