Freeport native Veasley accepts UIC job


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — One of the greatest basketball players in Stateline history continues to move up the coaching ranks. Freeport’s Willie Veasley has been named an assistant coach of the UIC Flames.

Veasley joins the coaching staff of new UIC head coach Luke Yaklich. Yaklich was named to the post last Thursday. The two men worked together on the coaching staff at Illinois State University for three seasons from 2013-2015 where both were assistants under Dan Muller.

Veasley spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at North Dakota State. The last two seasons North Dakota State won the Summit League Championship.

As a player Veasley received All-State honors at Freeport where he was the Pretzel’s all-time leading scorer. From there he went to Butler University where he lettered four years, and he was a starter on the Bulldogs NCAA runner-up team in 2010.

“I want to thank Coach Yaklich for this unbelievable opportunity to be back in my home state and back in the Horizon League where I spent four years as a college player,” said Veasley in a staetment on the UIC Flames website. “I’ve known Coach Yaklich for quite some time now and there isn’t a better coach, teacher or person whose vision I’d want to help contribute to and carry out for building a winning program. Coach Yaklich and our teams will do incredible things for UIC and the City of Chicago. My family and I can’t wait to get to campus and get to work.”

“Will and I started our college coaching careers at Illinois State where I saw his ability to connect with players and form life-long relationships. Will is an incredibly hard worker. His passion for teaching and coaching, combined with his knowledge and passion for the Horizon League and Illinois high school basketball, will make him an incredible asset for our student-athletes,” added Yaklich.

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