Bill Armstrong, who has been a part of SEC coaching staffs for some 15 years, enters his fifth year overall and second season as the Associate Head Coach on Will Wade’s staff at LSU.
Prior to coming to LSU at the start of the 2017-18 season, Armstrong served six years as an assistant coach for Ole Miss along with five previous seasons as the Rebels’ Coordinator of Basketball Operations.
Armstrong has been part of LSU teams that have gone to three post-season tournaments (minus the 2020 pandemic year), including a Sweet 16 NCAA appearance in 2019 and a second round NCAA game in 2021. He has been part of multiple top 10 recruiting classes for LSU in his time in Baton Rouge and been part of a staff that in the last three seasons has won 39 regular-season SEC games, more than any other team in the Southeastern Conference over that time.
Besides opponent scouting and on-floor coaching duties, Armstrong is heavily involved in LSU’s recruiting efforts and helped LSU come up with a No. 4 ranked national recruiting class for the 2018-19 season that included Javonte Smart, Marlon Taylor, Emmitt Williams and Darius Days. The 2020 class included freshman All-America Cameron Thomas, Mwani Wilkinson and Eric Gaines.
Armstrong has also been involved in the recruiting of another stellar class for the upcoming season in five-star center Efton Reid and four-star guard Brandon Murry, along with Jerrell Colbert and Alex Fudge. The Tigers also used the transfer portal to bring in proven players like Xavier Pinson, Tari Eason and Adam Miller.
In his four seasons, the Tigers have posted 86 total wins. The 2019 SEC regular season title team was led by point guard Tremont Waters, who earned first-team All-SEC honors and junior Skylar Mays who was a second team selection. In 2020, senior Skylar Mays was named first-team All-SEC and CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year.
Mays finished as the eighth ranked scorer in the league and top five in field goal and free throw percentage.
The Tigers in 2021 featured Thomas (who led the league and was the top DI freshman in scoring average, and led the nation in free throw makes), sophomore All-SEC selection Trendon Watford and veteran point guard Smart, who was also an All-SEC selection.
This past year, Armstrong had to take the coaching reins of the team when Covid-19 caused much of the coaching staff to miss a game against Sam Houston State in December, leading the Tigers to an easy victory.
During his time at Ole Miss, the Rebels won 20 games nine times in 11 seasons. In his last few years, he was on a staff that featured guard Stefan Moody, who earned All-SEC honors for two straight seasons and big man Sebastian Saiz, who finished first in the SEC in rebounding.
Armstrong’s contributions helped Ole Miss to an SEC Tournament title, eight postseason berths and a pair of SEC West titles over his 11 seasons.
He was on the staff in 2014, when Marshall Henderson ranked third in the nation with 4.3 3-pointers made per game and Jarvis Summers was the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in scoring and top five in the SEC in both assists and field goal percentage.
Armstrong and the Rebels broke through in 2012-13, as Ole Miss tied a school record with 27 wins, claimed the school’s second SEC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. Armstrong also helped Henderson to SEC Player of the Year honors.
Before his arrival in Oxford, Armstrong spent three years as an assistant coach at Birmingham-Southern. In his first season with the Panthers in 2003-04 – BSC’s first season of full NCAA eligibility – Armstrong helped the team to a 20-7 record and a 12-4 mark in conference play, earning a share of the Big South regular-season championship. Birmingham-Southern posted a 19-9 finish in his final year.
A Birmingham native, Armstrong joined the BSC staff after serving as an assistant at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., where he helped lead the Indians to a 23-9 record and a second-place finish in the Panhandle Conference in 2002-03.
Prior to his stint at Chipola, Armstrong was a graduate assistant for UAB during the 2001-02 campaign under Murry Bartow. Armstrong graduated from UAB in 2001 with a degree in justice sciences. He was also the recipient of the Barbara Hallerman Scholarship for Leadership.
A four-year letterman at UAB from 1998-2001, Armstrong played under Andy Kennedy, who was then an assistant coach with the Blazers who later hired Armstrong at Ole Miss. He served as team captain as a senior and helped the Blazers reach the NCAA Tournament in 1999 and the NIT in 1998.
Armstrong was a three-year letter winner for his father, Jimmy, at Oneonta (Alabama) High School where he was Academic All-State, Class 2A All-State, averaging 19.7 points and 7.8 assists per game as a senior. His team won the Area 11 championship for two consecutive seasons (1995-96) and reached the Alabama Class 2A Sweet 16 both years.
He graduated from UAB in 2001, his last year spent as a graduate assistant before going to Chipola.
Born November 18, 1977, Armstrong and his wife, Kenna, are the parents of five children: daughters Ella Michele, Sara McKay and Amelia Grace — and sons, James Walton (Bo), and Ford.
The Armstrong File
Seasons Completed at LSU: Four
Birthdate: November 28, 1977
Children: Ella Michele, Sara McKay, Amelia Grace, James Walton (Bo), Ford
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
High School: Oneonta High School
College: UAB, 2002
College Coaching Experience
2001-02: Graduate Assistant, UAB
2002-03: Assistant Coach, Chipola JC
2003-06: Assistant Coach, Birmingham-Southern
2006-11: Coordinator Operations, Ole Miss
2012-17: Assistant Coach, Ole Miss
2017-20: Assistant Coach, LSU
2020-: Associate Head Coach, LSU