UIC officially announces McClain hiring

UIC made it official on Monday, naming former Indiana associate head coach Steve McClain as its new head men’s basketball coach.

News broke over the weekend that the Flames had zeroed in on McClain, who interviewed for the job last week. He’ll be the 11th coach in UIC history after serving the past five seasons on Tom Crean’s staff in Bloomington.

“It was clear from my first meeting with Steve that he understood what it would take for UIC to return to the NCAA Tournament,” UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt said in a statement. “His energy, experience, attention to detail and thirst to win on so many levels moved him ahead of a very strong pool of candidates. He has great commitment to ensuring that our student-athletes experience success in classroom and life. His work with coaches Billy Tubbs, Jeff Bzdelik and Tom Crean along with his many local and national recruiting connections proved to me that he can bring excellence back to UIC. I am looking forward to the Flames rising quickly under Steve’s leadership.”

McClain has prior head coaching experience at Wyoming, where he spent nine seasons guiding the Cowboys to a record of 157-115 — the program’s fifth-highest percentage all-time — while making four postseason appearances.

Before joining Crean at IU, McClain served as an assistant at Coloradio under Bzdelik. At Indiana, Crean often credited McClain for his work with the Hoosiers’ big men. McClain was cited as the key recruiter in IU”s pursuit of 2015 commit Juwan Morgan.

“The past five years with Steve McClain have been nothing short of remarkable,” Crean said in a statement. “Steve came at a time when we were still very much in the rebuilding stage and helped us push through the barriers and challenges to reach many great things. Steve’s tenacity, teaching and ability to build relationships and recruit are second only to his unyielding work ethic and energy. On top of it all is the fact that he has such a great family with (wife) Kim and (son) Dylan.”

UIC fired Howard Moore on March 10 after he put together a 49-111 record over five seasons.

One comment

  1. Coach McClain,

    Thanks for your contribution to IU. I wish you the very best in developing UIC’s basketball program.

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