Doug Esleeck began his time at Mercer in May of 2010 after leaving his post as an Assistant Coach at Gardner Webb. Since his arrival in Macon, Esleeck has played an instrumental role in the team’s ascendance as one of the nation’s premier mid-major programs. With Esleeck on the sidelines, Mercer has racked up 66-41 record and achieved unprecedented success.
In 2012-13, Esleeck helped lead the Bears to a 14-4 record in conference play and the program’s first outright claim to the Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship. The Bears’ 24-12 season saw the team capture landmark road wins at Florida State and Alabama before going on to down Tennessee in Knoxville as a part of the team’s first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Esleeck’s determined work ethic has seen direct results in on-court success, as Mercer players have collected All-Conference accolades in each of his three seasons. Most recently, he’s led implementation of defensive schemes that have resulted in Mercer holding the league’s top spot in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense in each of the last two years.
During Mercer’s 2012 CIT Championship run, Esleeck teamed with fellow staff members to spearhead scouting efforts that helped the Bears’ hold an upper hand on opponents. Mercer completed that season with five-straight wins en route to the league’s first postseason victory.
As Gardner-Webb’s recruiting coordinator in 2009-10, Esleeck brought in three players ranked among ESPN’s top 150 players at their respective positions. Players signed by the Runnin’ Bulldogs under Esleeck’s tenure included 2007-08 A-Sun “Player of the Year” Thomas Sanders, A-Sun “All-Freshman selection Nate Blank, ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American Aaron Linn and Big South Conference All-Freshman player Joshua Henley (who was also the nation’s top freshman rebounder in 2008-09).
Those recruits, along with other Esleeck-mentored players helped lead Gardner-Webb to a series of unprecedented success, including knocking off then No. 20 ranked Kentucky during the 2007-08 season.
Prior to joining the G-WU staff, Esleeck was the director of men’s basketball operations at UNC-Greensboro (2005-06) and served as both a strength and conditioning intern (2004-05) and a junior varsity coach (2003-04) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His coaching roots at the high school level and as a camp coach/clinician date back to 2001.
Esleeck’s addition to the Bears’ staff also marked his return to the Atlantic Sun Conference, of which G-WU was a member until the 2008-09 season when the school moved over to the Big South Conference. MU is a charter member of the A-Sun.
Esleeck earned his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2005, with a double major in business administration and American history. He also holds an MBA from Gardner-Webb in business administration (May 2008).
Esleeck is married to the former Ashley Neighbors. The couple reside in Macon.