|Position:||Associate Head Coach|
Former Elon men's basketball standout Monty Sanders joined head coach Mark Prosser's staff at Western Carolina in mid-April of 2018, accepting an assistant coaching spot after spending a combined eight years on staff at his alma mater in the Piedmont Triad.
Sanders brings a wealth of experience to the position including coaching at both the high school and AAU levels. The past eight seasons have been spent at his alma mater, Elon, including three in operations and the last five as an assistant coach under head coach Matt Matheny.
"I am beyond excited to have another phenomenal person on staff that also possesses tremendous experience both as a coach as well as a player within the Southern Conference," Prosser said of the addition of Sanders to his coaching staff. "Monty is a great addition to our staff which I feel is very strong, energetic, and ready to get going."
A 2009 Elon graduate and former captain of the Phoenix basketball team, Sanders returned to Elon as the Director of Basketball Operations in August of 2010. He was promoted to an assistant coach on the Elon men's basketball staff in the summer of 2013. While on the bench over the past five seasons, Elon recorded double-digit victories each year including a .500-or-better record three times, twice recording 18-win seasons.
Sanders proved to be an invaluable recruiter for Elon, helping to successfully draw players from across the United States as well as international talent from Canada, Germany, Croatia, and England. He was instrumental in recruiting Elon's the school's top career 3-point shooter in Tanner Samson, who made 324 career treys and finished with 1,320 career points scored.
Working primarily with Elon's big men, Sanders aided in the development of the program's all-time blocked shots leader -- and 1,600-point scorer -- Lucas Troutman. Last season, the Phoenix post players shot nearly 50-percent from the field in 2017-18, while also connecting of 39-percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
In addition to his coaching duties, Sanders also served as the program's liaison to both the strength and conditioning staff as well as to the academic advisor. Over eight of the nine semesters he held the latter role, the team carried a collective GPA over 3.0.
Sanders helped the Phoenix to 21 wins in the 2012-13 season, the most victories in the NCAA Division I era at Elon, and the program's first D-I postseason berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. That same squad captured the SoCon North Division regular season championship. Sanders was also a part of Elon making the transition to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in the 2014-15 season.
More recently under Sanders' guidance, forward Tyler Seibring earned All-CAA second team honors for the second-consecutive season in 2017-18 while also garnering a spot on the NABC All-District 10 Second Team. Seibring, who reached the 1,000-point plateau, was also rewarded with his work in the classroom with a second-straight Academic All-America selection as well as the CAA's Dean Ehlers Leadership Award that is presented annually to the men's basketball student-athlete who "embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship in conjunction with his academic athletic achievement."
Elon finished the 2016-17 season fourth in the CAA, which was ranked the 11th-best conference in the nation. The Phoenix cracked the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll on Nov. 23, 2016, holding a spot at No. 23 for consecutive weeks. Seibring became the second player under Matheny to earn Academic All-America honors and was also named to the All-CAA Second Team as well as the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Prior to returning to Elon to get his start in collegiate coaching, Sanders served as an assistant boys' varsity basketball coach at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh and the head coach of the Garner Road Basketball Club AAU 15U boys' team.
Sanders was a two-year letter winner on the Elon basketball team, serving as a team captain his senior year under head coach Ernie Nestor after transferring from the University of Richmond following the 2005-06 campaign. Among Sanders' top on-court performances came in the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament when he scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting while adding nine rebounds in an upset victory over Wofford in Chattanooga, Tenn., with Prosser on the Terriers' bench.
Sanders served as a leader away from the basketball court at Elon, serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council from 2007-2009 including a year as the organization's vice president. He was the brainchild behind the annual "Phoenix Field Day" for inner-city youth of Burlington, a program that has continued to be successfully run by Elon student-athletes. Sanders graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing.
Sanders and the former Page Hall were married in May 2016. They have a daughter, Emmerson Sloane Sanders, who was born in January 2018.