Former UT strength coach Troy Wills arrested for breaking into arena office

Troy Wills

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Troy Wills

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Editor's note: Troy Wills was hired by UT in 2003 and not by former men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

Former University of Tennessee men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills was arrested this week on burglary and vandalism charges after police say he used a saw to break into a locked office at Thompson-Boling Arena early Saturday morning.

Wills, who spent eight seasons working with the basketball program before being let go last offseason by head coach Cuonzo Martin, was observed on surveillance video by officers investigating the break-in at the campus arena, according to an arrest warrant acquired Tuesday by the News Sentinel.

The warrant said Wills, using a saw, broke into the office of Bill Whitesell, a UT event management director, then “ransacked” the room, causing $750 in damages to university property, and took $4,150 in cash from Whitesell’s desk. The incident was reported to police Saturday afternoon.

Police say video shows Wills walking down a Thompson-Boling Arena hallway “with what appears to be a saw in his hand” and “attempting to hide (the saw) underneath his coat” at 3:53 a.m. Saturday. The affidavit said he was next seen on camera leaving at 4:31 a.m.

UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Tuesday that university officials had no comment on the theft.

The break-in occurred several hours after a professional bull-riding event at the arena on Saturday night.

Wills also was arrested on a separate theft charge for allegedly taking a $100 bottle of tanning cream from Fusion Tanning Studio on Kingston Pike on Dec. 5. According to the affidavit, Wills was contacted about the incident and agreed to return and pay for the product, but he never did so.

Wills will be due in court for arraignment March 6 after making bond on all three charges.

The two charges stemming from the Thompson-Boling break-in are felonies.

The burglary charge is a Class D felony carrying a $7,500 bond. The vandalism charge is a Class E felony carrying a $5,000 bond. As a condition of his release, Wills was barred from UT property.

The theft charge is a Class A misdemeanor. Wills was told to stay away from the tanning salon and ordered not to make contact with the complainant.

Wills was replaced as UT’s basketball strength and conditioning coach by Nicodemus Christopher in May. Wills, who joined UT in 2003, spent one season on Martin’s staff. At the time, Wills was earning a salary of $52,010.

According to his UT biography from last season, Wills graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, with a discipline in math. He earned his master’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 2003.

He was hired by UT in January 2003 and joined Johnny Long’s strength and conditioning staff. He was promoted the following year to assistant strength and conditioning coach and started working for then-men’s basketball coach Buzz Peterson in the 2004-05 season.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Incident report on former University of Tennessee men's basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 69

NomDePlume (Inactive) writes:

Don't do drugs.

miketn6 writes:

At least we know UT's security cameras work

Rumblefish writes:

There has got to be A LOT more to this story. Where's the investigative reporting KNS???

He obviously felt that UT owec him for dismissing him, or had a grudge against event management for whatever reason.

Come on Mr. Wills!!! Let us know what's up! Call one of these crackerjack KNS reporters and give them the scoop!

The_Ghost_of_Neyland writes:

"Where there's a Wills, there isn't always a way"

bUTch_please writes:

Hey westknoxrep...

We're ready for you or one of your sock puppets to educate us on why Nicodemus Christopher is such a bad hire by Coach Zo.. what with him wearing suits to the ballgames and all dat.

orangecountyvols writes:

Maybe the word "discipline" in math is incorrect.
If not, 'discipline' is the favorite word to describe this fellow. Also, maybe graduating from Emory and Henry is incorrect inf. Was it Penn State, or rather State Penn?

Ok, not funny I know. Sorry someone with a masters degree had to do something like this.

Surveillance cameras do not lie. Sad.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Bruce Pearl stole a whole lot more than this guy and didn't even have to break in the joint.

rusty_shackleford writes:

Dumb da dumb, dumb. Dumb da dumb, dumb az!

thevoice writes:

Birds of a feather...

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Why would you keep $4000 in your desk at work?

jt45 writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

Bruce Pearl stole a whole lot more than this guy and didn't even have to break in the joint.

Speaking of joints, maybe you should cut back a little on your alternate reality therapy, your way out of line with that BS.

VOLDoll writes:

Is anyone else suprised he was hired by Bruce Pearl? lol! I am so glad that clown is no longer at UT. How many of you are still crying yourselves to sleep every night over Pearls sorry asz being fired LMFAO!

RememberWhen writes:

There are some real morons on this site!

eVOLved writes:

in response to NomDePlume:

Don't do drugs.

LOL pen name! Judging by the tanning cream, maybe it was a roid habit.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

Bruce Pearl stole a whole lot more than this guy and didn't even have to break in the joint.

Bruce Pearl is an idol to a lot of our fans. It is really sad that a man with no integrity could be idolized by so many here in Knoxville and thats really embarrassent for a lot of us here in Tennessee.

SummittsCourt writes:

Key word here being "former"

atlkevin writes:

This story raises so many questions, but probably none more pressing than, "Who pays $100 for a bottle of tanning lotion?"

moonpie-ellie writes:

What kind of a strength coach uses a saw? He should have ripped the door off with his bare hands.

GerryOP writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good ... someone took the trash out.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to atlkevin:

This story raises so many questions, but probably none more pressing than, "Who pays $100 for a bottle of tanning lotion?"

Certainly not Troy Wills.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well that didn't take long, did it Jeffy?

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Bruce Pearl is an idol to a lot of our fans. It is really sad that a man with no integrity could be idolized by so many here in Knoxville and thats really embarrassent for a lot of us here in Tennessee.

I agree totally. What kind of institution have we become?

philgreen5#410561 writes:

Is there ever any good news from the hill?

Vol43 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Is anyone else suprised he was hired by Bruce Pearl? lol! I am so glad that clown is no longer at UT. How many of you are still crying yourselves to sleep every night over Pearls sorry asz being fired LMFAO!

Don't know where to begin with this one. VOLDoll sounds feminine. LMFAO. Is that F'ing arse or Fat arse? I'm betting Fat. Female with Fat arse. Did you read the article? Perhaps you should return to the article and re-read the first couple sentences. I don't cry about it, but I like Bruce Pearl personnaly. Ever met him? I have. He's a nice guy.

macon_volfan writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Is anyone else suprised he was hired by Bruce Pearl? lol! I am so glad that clown is no longer at UT. How many of you are still crying yourselves to sleep every night over Pearls sorry asz being fired LMFAO!

Unfortunately, your comment has NO relevancy whatsoever, as Willis was hired in 2003 under our good Christian coach Buzz Peterson.

volscantball writes:

Typical Tennessee. The bigger question is why does the event coordinator have almost $4200 in his desk? What kind of event is he putting on? Must be flurries in Knoxville or something. Enjoy.

Theo writes:

Good grief. Dumb and dumber.

volscantball writes:

Oh yeah... and how convenient there is another crook as the lead story on the website. Trooper Taylor? Come on Vols.... I thought you were better than that.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

There are some real morons on this site!

You are right.And VolDoll leads the pack.

FanNotSheep writes:

Boy the ignorant haters really do come out at a moment's notice, don't they?

The only connection Pearl had with stealing was the defense he taught his players. If everyone who lied lost their jobs the unemployment rate would be close to 100% and there's be no politicians in the world.

Porter Waggoner said his mama always told him he couldn't help being ugly but he could stay home.

Some of the people who post on here can't help being stupid but they could do us all a favor and watch TV.

volscantball writes:

Getting ready to watch Florida spank the Vols yet again. Enjoy.

Vol43 writes:

in response to volscantball:

Oh yeah... and how convenient there is another crook as the lead story on the website. Trooper Taylor? Come on Vols.... I thought you were better than that.

No offense podna, but why does it matter to you?

FanNotSheep writes:

There's be sorta has a ring to it, but the s key is right beside the d and I meant "there'd be no politicians"

But the people I aimed the comment at probably wouldn't have realized my typo.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to volscantball:

Getting ready to watch Florida spank the Vols yet again. Enjoy.

The only thing Gators have spanked lately is their …

volscantball writes:

in response to Vol43:

No offense podna, but why does it matter to you?

Just a little shocked that the Vols would even entertain the idea of hiring Taylor. He is a poison to every program he has been involved with and is currently under NCAA investigation for his time at the Barn. If anything, the Vols don't need the bad publicity that comes with a scum like Taylor. He isn't worth it.

Vol43 writes:

in response to volscantball:

Just a little shocked that the Vols would even entertain the idea of hiring Taylor. He is a poison to every program he has been involved with and is currently under NCAA investigation for his time at the Barn. If anything, the Vols don't need the bad publicity that comes with a scum like Taylor. He isn't worth it.

I didn't realize they were

JSmith525 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Is anyone else suprised he was hired by Bruce Pearl? lol! I am so glad that clown is no longer at UT. How many of you are still crying yourselves to sleep every night over Pearls sorry asz being fired LMFAO!

"He was hired by UT in January of 2003 and joined Johnny Long's strength and conditioning staff. He was promoted the following year to assistant strength and conditioning coach and started working for men's basketball coach Buzz Peterson in the 2004-05 season"

Sometimes it's best if one just keeps quite and let others assume that they are ignorant rather than type a post that leaves no doubt!

BuckshotMcGee writes:

"Wills was also arrested on a separate theft charge for allegedly taking a $100 bottle of tanning cream from Fusion Tanning Studio on Kingston Pike on Dec. 5, 2012." You know times are tough when you're using, I mean stealing, tanning cream!

pingkr62 writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

The only thing Gators have spanked lately is their …

Maybe that would be another use for the $100.00 tanning lotion.

VOL56 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Is anyone else suprised he was hired by Bruce Pearl? lol! I am so glad that clown is no longer at UT. How many of you are still crying yourselves to sleep every night over Pearls sorry asz being fired LMFAO!

Did you not read the post - he was hired prior to Coach Pearl's arrival.
A large number of college coaches do far more than Coach Pearl ever thought about. Have you watched hid him on ESPN?.

Good grief - Dumb hillbilly.

frblalack writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Is anyone else suprised he was hired by Bruce Pearl? lol! I am so glad that clown is no longer at UT. How many of you are still crying yourselves to sleep every night over Pearls sorry asz being fired LMFAO!

Obviously you have trouble with comprehension or maybe just reading in general. In the article it was pointed out that Wills was hired when Buzz Peterson was the Coach. Learn to read or get off this website, please.

volscantball writes:

in response to Vol43:

I didn't realize they were

Taylor was pulled off the recruiting trail the last two months he was there, along with Luper - another assistant coach. The NCAA would only say that they were investigating them for some possible recruiting issues. Nothing else has been said in public about it and the story has went silent since the coaching change at the Barn.

richvol writes:

No wonder Pearl's players never got stronger.

cjensen writes:

VOLDoll writes:
in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

Bruce Pearl stole a whole lot more than this guy and didn't even have to break in the joint.

Bruce Pearl is an idol to a lot of our fans. It is really sad that a man with no integrity could be idolized by so many here in Knoxville and thats really embarrassent for a lot of us here in Tennessee.
------------------
Not that much of an aberration----have you noticed our elected county officials?

OleBubba writes:

in response to volscantball:

Getting ready to watch Florida spank the Vols yet again. Enjoy.

UT-64 Gators-58 Enjoy

terrytennessee writes:

in response to volscantball:

Getting ready to watch Florida spank the Vols yet again. Enjoy.

You were saying .....?
Go Vols!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to volscantball:

Typical Tennessee. The bigger question is why does the event coordinator have almost $4200 in his desk? What kind of event is he putting on? Must be flurries in Knoxville or something. Enjoy.

I'm guessing cash from the cash registers from the concession stands?

OldGolfer writes:

in response to volscantball:

Getting ready to watch Florida spank the Vols yet again. Enjoy.

scoreboard

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

Wow!

What a pure fricking idiot!

lstbodeanvol writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

The only thing Gators have spanked lately is their …

......LITTLE RICHARDS

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