The owner of nearly three decades of coaching experience at the collegiate level, Chip Wilde is preparing for his 14th season as head coach of the Eureka men’s basketball team in 2020-21. The next campaign will mark Wilde’s 24th season as a collegiate basketball head coach.
Wilde has proved to be one of the most successful head coaches in the storied history of Eureka men’s basketball, establishing the Red Devils as a steady presence in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference both on the court and in the classroom.
Wilde entered the 2019-20 campaign with 148 wins, fourth-most in the century-long history of the program. He captured his 150th career victory with an 83-56 rout at Knox on Nov. 16, 2019.
In 2018-19, Wilde guided Eureka to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in school history. After a 2-10 start to the season, the Red Devils made it into the conference tournament after winning their last four SLAC games. Then, they seized the tourney bid by knocking off the top two seeded teams in the conference tournament. EC took down Greenville 163-146 in the tourney semifinals at Webster on Feb. 22, then edged Webster 70-69 to clinch the team's first-ever SLIAC Tournament title on Feb. 23. On March 1, 2019, the Red Devils played in their first national tournament since 1994 in an opening round game at Nebraska Wesleyan.
The following year, the Red Devils went 16-9 on the season and 11-7 in the SLIAC, falling just shy of postseason play despite finishing the season with a 137-129 comeback triumph over Greenville. The 2019-20 senior class finished with 60 wins in four years, making it the winningest class in 25 years.
Wilde has led the Red Devils to five SLIAC Tournament bids and five top-three finishes in the league standings, including runner-up efforts in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2017-18 and a third-place showing in 2015-16. His 2016-17 Red Devils shattered the program’s single-season team scoring record with 90.5 points per game, while his 2017-18 team narrowly missed the single-season scoring record (90.1) on its way to returning to the SLIAC Tournament semifinals. The 2018-19 squad set a new single-season scoring record (92.9) en route to the NCAA Tournament.
In all, Wilde has coached three SLIAC Players of the Year, 22 All-SLIAC selections, eight SLIAC All-Tournament Team selections, six SLIAC All-Defensive Team picks and 45 SLIAC Player of the Week choices.
Off the court, Wilde has mentored 48 Eureka College graduates, 13 SLIAC All-Academic honorees, 15 NABC Academic Honors Court selections and two Ronald Reagan Fellows.
Wilde guided the Red Devils to 18 wins and an appearance in the SLIAC Tournament in 2017- 18. EC won non-conference games over Monmouth, Knox and Dominican (Ill.), won a school-record 13 SLIAC contests and closed the regular season with five consecutive victories.
Eureka also won 18 games and went to the SLIAC Tournament championship game in 2012-13. The Red Devils won 15 of their final 18 contests and won 12 SLIAC games, tying the highest mark for the Red Devils since beginning conference-affiliated competition at the NCAA Division III level in 1996. Eureka’s 18 wins during the 2012-13 campaign were the most for the Red Devils since the 1993-94 team won 27 contests en route to the NAIA Division II national title.
In 2011-12, Wilde engineered the most dramatic turnaround in the history of SLIAC men’s basketball. The Red Devils went 15-11 overall and 11-5 against league competition to tie for second place in the nine-team league. Eureka’s 11-win improvement overall proved to be the third-largest turnaround in Eureka men’s basketball history. Additionally, the Red Devils’ nine-win jump in SLIAC play was the greatest one-year improvement in the 27-year history of the conference.
Wilde became the third head coach since 1974 to lead Eureka to a conference tournament championship game when Eureka played for the SLIAC crown in 2010. During Eureka’s 2010 postseason run, Wilde directed the Red Devils to 17 victories, the most by a Eureka squad since the 2003-04 season. Eureka won 10 league games during the season for a third-place finish and posted a 20-point victory over MacMurray in the league tournament semifinals, the second SLIAC postseason victory in any sport in school history.
A tireless recruiter, Wilde regularly welcomes large recruiting classes featuring incoming freshmen and junior college transfers.
Prior to taking over the Eureka men’s basketball program in the summer of 2007, Wilde spent eight seasons as part of an NCAA Division I staff. He was the Coordinator of Basketball Operations at Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. from 2004-06. Following that stint, he was an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan during the 2006-07 season. His other Division I stops include three seasons as an undergraduate assistant at Western Illinois and two seasons as an assistant coach at Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant.
Wilde served as the men’s basketball head coach (1997-2003) and women’s basketball head coach (1994-97) at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich. In 2001, he led the Cardinals to the NCCAA Men’s National Tournament and was named NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year. Wilde also served as the university’s Director of Athletics from 1997-98.
|The Wildes: Zoey, Darby and Chip|
His career has also included a season as an assistant coach at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas. While at Collin County, Wilde helped the Cougars finish the season ranked second nationally in the NJCAA.
Wilde earned a B.S. in Physical Education from Western Illinois University in 1991 before earning his master’s degree from WIU in 1994. In addition to his men’s basketball duties, Wilde is an assistant professor in the Eureka College physical education department and has served as golf head coach since the 2016-17 season.
Always involved in teaching the game, Wilde and his staff conduct an annual youth summer basketball camp at Eureka, as well as a Fall Hoops Festival for area youths in the month of November.
Wilde resides in Normal with his wife Darby and 11-year-old daughter Zoey.