David Akin

Meadowcreek acted quickly on a new head boys basketball coach, announcing Tuesday the hiring of David Akin for the open position.

The Mustangs revealed last week previous head coach Curtis Gilleylen resigned for personal reasons amid an investigation into concerns that he had not followed proper district procedures for the rental of facilities. Gilleylen led Meadowcreek to the 2018 state championship, its first in basketball, and to a state runner-up finish last season.

Meadowcreek had named Starzee Walker, an assistant with the girls program, as the interim coach.

Instead, the high school hired Akin, a 1998 Berkmar grad and a longtime fixture in the local basketball community. He met his new players Monday, giving him a few days to prepare for Friday’s game with Discovery.

“It’s a huge honor,” Akin said. “I’m very thankful and very appreciative of just a head coaching job, but more importantly a head coaching job in Gwinnett County. I’m honored to be among the names that have coached in Gwinnett County and are coaches now in Gwinnett County. It seems to be a close-knit family here at Meadowcreek and the team chemistry already in place is a credit to Curtis Gilleylen.

“I told the boys we can still honor him this year and all he’s done for this program. I hope he understands I’m here to continue the legacy that he’s already built.”

Akin took a teaching position for the 2019-20 school year at Parkview, where his wife Sarah is a teacher and coach. He planned to take this season off from basketball to finish his specialist degree, but changed his mind last week when the Meadowcreek opportunity popped up. Akin will finish the school year as a teacher at Parkview while he coaches at Meadowcreek.

“When the opportunity presented itself and I heard that these young men needed somebody to be their coach, that’s where my draw was,” Akin said. “I know they have a great basketball program. That’s not why I was interested. Why I was interested was I thought about these kids, that someone needed to help these kids through the transition.

“I’ve kind of been through this situation before with Milton with a coach leaving right before the season, and I thought I could maybe help them get through this tough time. My goal here is to help these young men. I know there’s a basketball aspect everybody gets caught up into, and obviously we’re in Gwinnett, so the stakes are as high as they can be and the expectations based on their success in the past are high. But at end of the day, I didn’t come over here to help because of the previous basketball tradition.

“My concern was for the kids. I don’t mind saying, it was specifically for the seniors. You want everything to be just right and just perfect for your senior year. I said to myself if it was my senior year, I would want someone who cares about me and would want my senior year to be the best it can be.”

Akin previously worked as a Parkview basketball assistant from 2013-16, then was East Jackson’s head boys basketball coach for three seasons.

Akin has college experience at both Agnes Scott, where he was an assistant for two seasons, and at the University of Georgia, where he was video coordinator for three seasons. He also spent three seasons as an assistant for the powerhouse Milton program led by his former Berkmar coach, David Boyd. Outside of high school basketball, Akin runs Team Belief, a faith-based program that runs a summer league and coaching clinics in the area.

Akin inherits a Meadowcreek program that was the Class AAAAAAA state runner-up last season, following up the program’s first state championship. It competed in more state playoff games the previous three seasons under Gilleylen (13) than it did the previous 10 seasons combined.

Gilleylen went 69-24 in his three seasons with the Mustangs.

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