WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW Sports) — Takayo Siddle, a key lieutenant for Kevin Keatts during UNCW’s resurgence in men’s basketball earlier this decade, is returning to the Port City as the new head coach of the Seahawk program.
Siddle, 33, is making his fifth coaching stop and first as a head coach. He previously served as an assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy, Gardner-Webb, UNCW and NC State. Siddle becomes the 13th head coach in UNCW history.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Takayo back to UNCW and the Wilmington community,” said Jimmy Bass, UNCW’s ninth-year athletic director. “He’s been successful everywhere he’s been and we’re confident he will get our program back to the level our student-athletes, alumni, fans and community are accustomed to. He already has two CAA tournament championship rings, so there’s plenty of room for more.”
Siddle played for and coached with Keatts and served as interim head coach for the Seahawks in March of 2017 before joining his longtime mentor on the NC State bench in Raleigh. Siddle is a tireless recruiter and was tabbed the No. 4 recruiter in the country earlier this year.
“I’m honored to be named as the head coach of this proud program,” said Siddle, who will be formally welcomed during an introductory press conference at a later date. “This is – and has always been – a dream job for me. I can’t begin to tell everyone how excited I am.”
During his three-year stay at UNCW from 2014-17, Siddle helped the Seahawks return to prominence in the CAA, winning three regular season championships and two CAA Tournament crowns (2016, 2017).
The Seahawks went 72-28 overall in Siddle’s three years and advanced to the postseason all three campaigns, including the CIT (2015), NCAA (2016) and NCAA (2017). He recruited five All-CAA selections as the Seahawks went 48-14 in the circuit.
Siddle moved on to NC State and the success followed. The Wolfpack averaged more than 80 points per game in Siddle’s first two seasons with the Pack. Prior to that, the last NC State team to average more than 80 points in a season was the 1995-96 team.
Siddle has played a key role in the emergence of Pack guards Markell Johnson and Braxton Beverly. He helped develop Johnson into a premier playmaker in the NCAA. Johnson a Second-Team All-ACC selection this past season, led the ACC in assists as a sophomore (2017-18) and senior (2019-20) and leaves NC State as just the third-player in program history to score 1,100 career points, rack up 600 career assists and record 150 steals. Beverly, meanwhile, signed with the Pack a few months after Siddle joined the staff and drained136 three-pointers in his first two seasons, the most by an NC State player through their sophomore season.
Since Siddle’s arrival, the Wolfpack has featured one of the best offensive attacks in the ACC. NC State ranked in the top-40 in the NCAA in tempo by KenPom.com in the first two seasons.
In addition, the Wolfpack has been dangerous from long distance the last three seasons. In 2018-19, NC State hit 292 three-pointers, the second-most in program history. The 2017-18 NC State team set a program record when it hit a 19 three-pointers in a win over Jacksonville. One of Siddle’s outside threats, junior guard Devon Daniels, raised his scoring average from 9.0 ppg to 12.7 ppg this season.
Siddle launched his coaching career in 2009-10 as a member of Keatts’ staff at Hargrave, beginning a long, successful relationship with his mentor. The Tigers featured 12 NCAA Division I signees, including five in the ACC, SEC, Big East and Big Ten Conferences.
Siddle then spent four years at Gardner-Webb. He was hired as an assistant coach at GWU by former head coach and current Ohio State skipper Chris Holtmann, who served as an assistant coach during Siddle’s freshman, sophomore and junior years in Boiling Springs.
Siddle followed Keatts to the North Carolina coast in the summer of 2014 and helped the Seahawks compile a 72-28 record with three postseason berths in three seasons from 2015-17. The Seahawks captured the 2015 and 2016 CAA titles and advanced to play in the NCAA Tournament in Providence (vs. Duke) and Orlando (vs. Virginia).
A native of Eden, N.C., Siddle was a prep standout for Coach John Harder at Morehead High School, averaging 27.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season with the Panthers.
He then attended Hargrave in 2004-05 and helped the Tigers advance to the national prep school championship game.
Siddle played four seasons at Gardner-Webb from 2005-09, appearing in 114 games. He played in 21 games during his freshman year when GWU upset Minnesota and East Carolina on the road and took defending national champion North Carolina to the final buzzer.
He started all 30 games for the Bulldogs as a sophomore in 2006-07 and averaged a career-best 8.6 points per game with 104 assists.
As a junior in 2007-08, Siddle saw action in 32 games and helped Gardner-Webb stun No. 20 Kentucky at Rupp Arena and advance to the Final Four of the 2007 2K Sports College Hoops Classic in Madison Square Garden.
Siddle earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Gardner-Webb in 2009.