Some info on Steve McClain, just in case he gets hired

The Denver Post is reporting that Steve McClain will take the third Indiana assistant coaching position according to a source. We’re working to confirm that and there’s nothing official yet from IU, but we’re hearing it all over the place from people who hear these things but aren’t in the position to be cited as primary sources.

In other words, it’s the word on the street.

So just in case this does in fact, go down, here’s some info on McClain.

For the last three years, McClain has been the associate head coach at Colorado under Jeff Bzdelik, who recently left for Wake Forest. McClain joined the program after a 7-20 season and helped the Buffaloes to a 12-20 campaign in his first year. The next year, Colorado dipped to 9-22, but then improved to 15-16 this year.

Before that, McClain was the head coach at Wyoming for nine years, posting a career record of 157-115, winning two Mountain West Conference regular season championships, earning an NCAA Tournament bid in 2002 for the first time since 1988 and knocking off Gonzaga in the tournament. He was twice named MWC Coach of the Year by one entity or another. However, in his last four seasons, the Cowboys were 57-63 and and 23-37 in the conference and his contract was terminated.

Before that, McClain worked as an assistant at both Texas A&M and Texas Christian. Before that, he was a junior college coach, and he posted a 91-16 record there, winning the 1994 junior college national championship at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.

Now, what ties does he have to Indiana or Tom Crean? No idea.


  1. Thanks for the info Dustin. You guys are on top of things today. he got fired from Wyoming after a 7-20 season and then went to a program who never had a winning record in his 3 years. He got passed over for the CO job.
    So does guy have a reputation of developing bigs? Does he have any known loyalty to IU or Crean? Is he known as a big time recruiter?

  2. Looks to be the kind of hands on teacher the program can put right to work. Other than needing to be instructed in Coach Crean’s philosophy he will not have to be babysat like RM. He already knows the coaching business.

  3. He got Wyoming to the NCAA tourney and NIT tourney several times for god’s sake, guards. Got two All-Americans to sign with a program out in the middle of the frozen, nasty tundra. Pretty good if you ask me.

  4. Just for some background info, this is a recent excerpt from the Denver Post concerning Steve Mclain.

    “I’m a huge fan of Steve McClain’s,” said Steve Burks, the father of Big 12 freshman of the year
    Alec Burks. “Alec likes him a great deal too. . . . He’s one of the reasons I let Alec go to CU. McClain had a lot to do with it. McClain is a huge part of this. I hope it works out well.”

    McClain is known as a tireless recruiter and an excitable bench coach. His relationship with the Buffs goes back more than two decades, when his Hutchinson center, Shaun Vandiver, and guard Reggie Morton transferred to CU.”

  5. The Head Coach gets to select the person HE wants to fill out his staff! He is judged by the final product, not the internal process. But I do agree that we need someone to tutor our Big Men! Is it possible to bring in an “advisor” for such duties? Steve Downing would be great but I doubt he has any interest. Mel Daniels (the old Pacer) would also be great. Kareem Abdul Jabbar would be great. DJ White is still on a roster in the NBA, but he would be great. I am sure that there are many others. Is this a possibility?

  6. 4guards, Colorado had a 7-20 season the year before he got there. He was 17-15 in his last year in Wyoming. My apologies. I can see how that was misleading.

  7. Hell coach4disreguards has no interest in the stats being corrected to bare more positive accuracy. They would interfere with his own negative agenda.

  8. Crean can’t even keep a video guy or get a good recruit and now maybe hires a bum for an asst. What gives I.U. Just fire his A$$ now and get on with a good coach.

  9. 4guards,

    You should be asking similar questions when considering Fife as a potential assistant.

    Does the guy have a reputation for developing bigs? Is he a big time recruiter?

  10. Love the hire. The guy has solid head-coach experience, including a .600 winning percentage at Wyoming (157-115), about the same amount of wins and losses as Steve Alford at Iowa (152-106).

  11. Goody, goody, somebody is pretending to be me. I’m important now. BTW that means I didn’t post the previous. I really don’t care.

  12. So now we have people whining about who we hire as a 3rd assistant, and about losing a video coordinator (who is getting an actual assistant job). Quality trolling, as usual.

    And it is hilarious that 4guards wants Alford as our head coach, yet is up in arms about this guy as an assistant.

  13. I’ve known Steve McClain for 20 years, back to his days @ Hutchinson Community College. He will be an incredible addition to tradition rich Indiana basketball. He’s a high energy guy with a great track record and CU is stupid for not promoting him. I have no vested interest here, but I can assure that CU’s bungle is Indiana’s benefit.

  14. We need a guy from Indiana, not a Senator from Arizona who will still be thinking about his business back home and the Tea Partys, for crying out loud.

  15. This is the real 4guards. Alll the imposters posters are flattering. Anyways fife is the best hire he’s a true indiana guy.

  16. Coach Crean is doing an outstanding job. I know I have been rough on him at times, but I really think he is going to get it turned around. By the way I do have some mental problems so don’t mind me if I make the occasion ignorant comment or fifty.

  17. Steve is a great guy… Wish he was still at Wyoming. He is fun to watch on the sidelines. Welcome to Bloomington.

  18. I am going back to my original name since these imposters can’t stop their immature games. No one on this thread has been me so far.

  19. Nor was that last one me. I’m going to have to be more inventive. Which is tough, since all I know how to do is say “Crean sucks” in 8 languages. Stay tuned.

  20. Indiana guy, Indiana guy…why? Theres really noone out there that has the credentials we need. Oh I wouldnt mind Fife..but I really think McClain is a better hire. A .600 at Wyoming..are you kidding me…thats the middle of nowhere. Hes a good x’s and o’s coach that can help with in game changes. Hes a players type of coach, demands respect and understands defense real well. The connection someone asked..the former head coach at Colorado Jeff Bzdelik and Crean are good friends. Im sure he suggessted him, in case he didnt get the head job..which he didnt. If this happens….good hire. Many will see it eventually.

  21. Sure must be difficult for high school coaches to get promoted these days…Do universities ever look at successful high school coaches to fill assistant positions?..It would seem like a unique strategy for opening up recruiting channels and establishing connections with schools that continually produce talent.

    I often wonder what makes a retired NBA star a better television color commentator than a passionate journalist that has covered a sport for many years..It seems like more and more professions look to fill positions through lateral searches with the the idea that abundance of experience within same level profession essential. Did Brad Stevens have an abundance of basketball coaching experience? Hats off to Butler for thinking outside the coachocracy box..Did Howard Cosell ever play the game? Seems like he was right on target with his depiction of sports broadcasting becoming a “jockocracy”.

    Why is there a lack of desire to blend experiences?..Why the lack of looking for passionate souls and taking chances with some that may not have the thickist resume perfectly matched our standardized thought of the most matching ingredients? I’m beginning to believe that looking in all the right places is the quickest trap to making wrong choices.

  22. IULefty,
    It wasn’t me above saying Indiana guy, but why do you glamorize a mediocre winning percentage at Wyoming “in the middle of nowhere”, but Steve Alford getting New Mexico to a top 10 national rating is easy because he is in the middle of nowhere playing weak competition? You Crean Apologists make no sense.
    I am with you on the high school coach thing. Somebody like LN’s coach.

  23. It may be “in the middle of nowhere”, but they have Old Faithful..People just stand around to watch it blow nothing but steam…Sound familiar? I dedicate the following clip to 4guards.

    (The clip also serves as nice analogy to a 4guards’ reaction when looking at Steve Alford in short shorts.)


    Final Thought: Maybe that’s why Crean is having problems with getting recruits to commit…Maybe there are more basketball recruits seeking urban life..Bloomington may not have the same attraction as it did in the days of hippies, Woodstock, and the nudist colonies of Brown County.. It is sort of stuck in a southern Indiana nowhere land.

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