Former Hendrix College men’s basketball player Janson Hightower has been named the head men’s basketball coach at Southwestern University.

Hightower. a former assistant coach at the University of Central Arkansas, takes over after 15-year veteran Bill Raleigh stepped down to assume the role of Assistant Athletic Director and Exercise and Sports Studies Department Chair fulltime.

"I am very proud to hand the program off to coach Hightower who will do an excellent job of taking the program to the next level," said Raleigh. "He is a very good young coach who has been a major contributor to the program over the last couple of years and is definitely ready to excel as a college basketball head coach."

Hightower joined the Southwestern staff in August of 2012 as the assistant men’s basketball coach and assistant golf coach.

Hightower was a standout at Hendrix College and team captain his senior season. He led the team in assists in three of his four seasons and is currently fifth among all-time assists leaders in program history. Hightower also led the Warriors in steals his senior year and was a member of the teams that advanced to the SCAC Tournament semifinals in 2008 and 2009. Hightower was also selected as the Carl Babcock Award Winner, awarded to one Hendrix College male athlete for character and leadership in athletics. He graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business.

Prior to Southwestern, Hightower was a graduate assistant and operations director for the men’s basketball program at the University of Central Arkansas where he graduated with a Master of Business Administration in May 2012.

Hightower has been a head coach for the Georgetown Fury Select Club Basketball Program for two summers, coaching 20 junior varsity and varsity level players to numerous tournament championships statewide.