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Mike McGuire officially took over the Highlanders on Wednesday, but he’s already making plans for the future.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Mike McGuire was introduced as the Radford women’s basketball coach in a press conference Wednesday.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
RADFORD — Mike McGuire was introduced as the seventh women’s basketball coach at Radford University Wednesday. From the start of his first public remarks, it was clear the new coach had a keen sense of how much work needed to be done.
There was a new team to meet and greet. A staff had to be hired. Eleventh hour recruiting was looming. Figuring out where the rebounds and interior defense were going to come from next year among a group of relatively inexperienced returning players was going to be a major chore.
It was enough to give a veteran head coach or a time management specialist pause, much less a rookie coach with his first college head job, as McGuire is.
That still doesn’t even begin to fill out McGuire’s to-do list. This is a man who is getting married in two weeks. He and Nataleigh Gevas will be celebrating the nuptials in next to no time. Then he’ll get down to basketball business and she’ll return to Richmond to finish out the school year teaching kindergarten.
“There will be a lot of commuting for the short term,” he said. “It’s going to be a crazy couple of months.”
Meanwhile, he’ll be spending a lot of time on the phone. Radford has nine players coming back off this year’s 16-14 team. Only Diani Mason and Jordynn Gaymon averaged as many as five points per game and Gaymon as many as four rebounds.
There would be no shortage of chores, both professional and civilian.
“You’ve got to take it day by day,” he said. “I’ll get on the phone with some high school and AAU coaches and see what’s out there for the remaining senior class. I don’t want to just bring somebody in who is not the right fit, that’s not going to work.”
Next up is to assemble a staff. McGuire confirmed he will be talking to Abby Oliver, who played for him at Hidden Valley when he was coaching back-to-back Group AA state champs . The two of them reunited at Richmond, where he has been an assistant coach the past five years and she enjoyed a stellar career, ascending to the No. 7 position among Spiders career scorers.
“I’d like to hire at least one man for the staff,” he said. “I’d like to have three women and a man if we can.”
McGuire pledged in his opening press conference that the program would “do things the right way.”
That included putting major emphasis on recruiting players of good character and holding them to high ethical and academic standards. McGuire planned on expecting a high profile in the community for all concerned in the program. On the floor, toughness, man-to-man defense, and an aggressive attack would be identifying characteristics, he said.
In introductory remarks, athletic director Robert Lineburg said 76 people applied and 17 were interviewed, ending with two finalists. In extensive research on McGuire, Lineburg said he heard no negative evaluations.
That McGuire had head coaching experience at the high school level and had won a couple of state titles were influential factors in Lineburg’s thinking.
“That goes a long way,” Lineburg said. “He’s called time outs, managed the clock, managed the game. Regardless if it is high school or college, those things remain the same.”
McGuire, 36, came highly recommended by his previous boss.
“Radford is getting a tireless worker, a great basketball mind, a very good recruiter, and an even better person,” Richmond head coach Michael Shafer said in a release.
McGuire was a basketball and baseball standout in high school at William Byrd, where he also had his first head coaching job.
Coincidentally, Lineburg’s father Norman was once a football coach at William Byrd, but long before McGuire was of high school age.
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