Sean Gillespie enters his third season at the helm for the Union men's basketball program, taking over the reign's officially as the head coach midway through the 2009-10 campaign. His overall mark at Union stands at 36-29.
In his second season as the team's head coach, Gillespie led the Bulldogs to the 2010-11 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Championship as the number four seed, narrowly defeating Reinhardt in the championship game 68-67. The win guaranteed an NAIA Division II National Tournament bid for Union, where the Bulldogs dropped an 81-59 decision to number one overall seed Walsh.
The conference championship was the first for Union since the 1971-72 season, while the National Tournament bid was the first for the Bulldogs since 1968. Gillespie also coached sophomore Turrell Morris, who was named the 2010-11 Co-AAC Player of the Year, and to the NAIA Division II All-American Third Team, making Morris Union's first All-American in 56 years.
In his first season, Gillespie led the Bulldogs to a 20-13 record, leading the Bulldogs to victories in 10 of their last 12 contests. The team also made a run to the AAC Conference Championship, before dropping a heart breaking 86-85 decision to UVA-Wise.
Prior to coming to Union, Gillespie spent the three seasons as the assistant men's basketball coach at Sterling (Kan.) College.
The Warriors improved every season while Gillespie was with the program. In 2006-07, Sterling posted a 12-and-17 overall record before improving to 16-and-12 the next season. The Warriors took a giant leap in 2008-09, going 21-and-10, winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship and advancing to the NAIA Division-II National Championship Tournament.
An avid golfer, Gillespie also served as the head men's golf coach while at Sterling.
From May of 2004 to May of 2006, Gillespie coached professionally in Turkey for the Aliaga ENKA Spor team. While at the position for ENKA Spor, Gillespie lead the team to its first ever playoff birth, compiling a 20-12 record that season.
Before going overseas, he served as the athletic director and head boy's basketball coach at Circle Christian School in Orlando, Fla. Gillespie compiled a record of 92-and-24 and won the FCC State Championship in 2001. As the athletic director, he established 11 new junior varsity and varsity athletic programs.
A 1991 graduate of Pensacola Christian College, Gillespie earned his bachelor's degree in Youth Mentoring, while also earning his minor in Physical Education.
Gillespie and his wife, Rachel, have two daughters, Mariah and Makayla, and currently reside in Barbourville, Ky.
While at the helm of the basketball program at Spearville High, Stanford also served as an assistant football coach. Stanford also served as the women's varsity assistant coach and the head junior varsity coach at Sterling College during those two seasons.
A 2008 Sterling College graduate, Stanford was also a youth speaker for the Caritate Dei Ministries from 2006-08. While working for Caritate Dei Ministries, Stanford traveled across the country ministering to youth at youth events.
"I am pleased with our hire of Jerrod Stanford," stated head coach Sean Gillespie after the hire or Stanford. "I met Jerrod about five years ago when he was an assistant with the Sterling College Women's program and I was impressed with his persistence in recruiting and his overall passion and knowledge of basketball. He knows the game of basketball and is a good teacher of the game. He is a great addition for us and our staff and our student/athletes will enjoy what he has to offer."
"I am really excited for the opportunity to coach here at Union College," commented Jerrod Stanford."I appreciate the athletic director Darin Wilson and Coach Sean Gillespie giving me the opportunity to come in and be a part of the college."
Stanford went on to say, "I am looking forward to helping Coach Gillespie break through some barriers as well as impact the young men both on and off the basketball court. I am looking forward to getting this program to the level where it competes on the national level on a consistent basis."