New details surrounding former University of Tennessee men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills and the burglary and vandalism at Thompson-Boling Arena were released Thursday.
Now there is a statement.
And spray paint.
And a cooler.
Wills was arrested earlier this week on charges of burglary and vandalism after police say he used a saw to break into a locked office at Thompson-Boling Arena early Saturday morning. In the arrest warrant, Wills was said to have sawed his way into the office of Bill Whitesell, a UT event management director, “ransacked” the room causing $750 in damages to university property and stole $4,150 in cash from Whitesell’s desk.
Knox County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Hillary Coward said Thursday that Wills was arrested around noon Monday and posted $12,500 bond at 1:36 a.m. Tuesday. The arrest was made by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, while the University of Tennessee Police Department handled the investigation.
As a condition of his release, Wills was barred from UT property. Wills is scheduled in court for arraignment March 6.
In a UTPD supplement case report obtained Thursday by the News Sentinel, it’s learned Wills, 37, also covered “several doors, fixtures, and appliances” with orange spray paint and set fire to university property.
The UTPD report says, Wills “made forcible entry into (Whitsell’s) office and may have possibly stolen some items out of his office.” At about 3:50 a.m. Saturday, Wills is said to “walk down the hallway carrying a saw in his right hand,” before attempting to enter an office at 3:53 a.m. with a key.
Per the report, “Mr. Wills then walks off camera and returns with another saw,” before entering Whitesell’s office.
The report added charred remains of a Gatorade cooler, a trash can containing a Sentry safe and Whitsell’s briefcase “containing several documents” were turned over from the Knox County Sheriff’s department to UTPD.
According to UTPD lieutenant Donnie Ross, those items were believed to have been found outside Wills’ West Knoxville apartment.
The cooler and safe belong to UT director of sports medicine Chad Newman, according to the UTPD report.
Wills spent eight seasons working in the university athletic department before being let go last offseason by coach Cuonzo Martin.
The News Sentinel visited Wills’ apartment Wednesday. He did not answer, nor was a car present. He did not respond to a note seeking comment.
In a statement to the News Sentinel on Thursday, Gregory P. Isaacs, Wills’ attorney, said, “Troy Wills enjoyed his tenure as a strength coach for the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team and he continues to have the highest respect for the University of Tennessee and University of Tennessee athletics. Currently, Troy is in treatment for a medical condition. Afterwards, it is the intent of Mr. Wills to resolve the unfortunate issues that have occurred over the past few days. He appreciates the support from his family friends.”
Asked if Wills has obtained any employment since being let go by UT, Isaacs said he did not know.
In the original arrest warrant, 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 athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Thursday that university officials had no comment on the theft.
According to Ross, the $4,150 stolen from Whitesell’s office was his own money, not university funds. The UTPD supplement report states the money was in “unknown denominations divided into two separate envelopes." Additionally, Whitesell's checkbook was stolen, according to the report.
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.
The two charges stemming from the Thompson-Boling Arena 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.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.