GEORGETOWN, Texas – Janson Hightower has been named by Director of Athletics Dr. Glada Munt as the head men's basketball coach at Southwestern University effective immediately.
Hightower takes over after 15-year veteran Bill Raleigh stepped down to assume the role of Assistant Athletic Director and Exercise and Sports Studies Department Chair full-time.
"I want to thank Dr. Munt, Glenn Schwab, and Coach Raleigh for this outstanding opportunity," said Coach Hightower. "I am grateful and privileged to take over a basketball program at such a prominent institution as Southwestern."
"We knew that we had an exceptional talent with Coach Hightower," said Dr. Munt, "and are delighted that he will be able take over a solid program and take it to the next level for us."
"I am very proud to hand the program off to Coach Hightower who will do an excellent job of taking the program to the next level," said Coach Raleigh. He is a very good young coach who has been a major contributor to the program over the last couple of years and is definitely ready to excel as a college basketball head coach."
Hightower joined the Southwestern staff in August of 2012 as the assistant men's basketball coach and assistant golf coach. During his two seasons, Southwestern players have earned six All-SCAC honors and the Pirates have made the SCAC Conference Tournament both seasons.
"This is an exciting time for Southwestern University basketball. We return a solid group of upperclassmen and add a talented class of first-year student-athletes. I am confident this group of young men will make the Southwestern community proud both on and off the court."
Hightower is no stranger to Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball. He was a standout at Hendrix College and team captain his senior season. He led the team in assists three seasons and was the Hendrix College NCAA Division III assists leader. Hightower also led the Warriors in steals his senior year and was a member of the teams that advanced to the SCAC Conference Tournament semi-finals in 2008 and 2009. Hightower was also selected as the Carl Babcock Award Winner, awarded to one Hendrix College male athlete for character and leadership in athletics. He graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in economics and business.
Prior to Southwestern, Hightower was a graduate assistant and operations director for the men's basketball program at the University of Central Arkansas where he graduated with a Master of Business Administration in May 2012.
Hightower has been a head coach for the Georgetown Fury Select Club Basketball Program for two summers, coaching 20 junior varsity and varsity level players to numerous tournament championships statewide.
The Pirates open practice on October 15th and begin competition on November 17th as they face St. Edward's University in Austin at 7 pm.