McClain: “Tom and I are having conversations.”

Steve McClain, still technically employed as the Colorado associate head coach, confirmed Tuesday that he is interested in the assistant coaching position at Indiana. However, he opted to stay relatively mum on the details.

“Tom and I are having conversations,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process.”

McClain appears to be the favorite for the third assistant coaching position vacated in early March by Roshown McLeod. McClain spent the last three years as the assistant coach at Colorado after nine years as the head coach at Wyoming. He was considered one of the favorites for the Colorado head coaching job left open when former coach Jeff Bzdelik left for Wake Forest, but the Buffaloes chose Northern Colorado head coach Tad Boyle.

30 comments

  1. You can do this, TC, I have faith…get this guy on board. This guy has the numbers to be a head coach somewhere right now; having him on the bench would be fantastic.

  2. Actually, I agree with fluffy Tom. I think having a former head coach on the bench will be a very good asset to the program.

  3. fluffy tom…. that is great, I’ll be laughing at that one all night.
    Dane Fife is a current head coach who didn’t get fired from Wyoming.

  4. 4 guards,

    Are there any other possible good choices for assistant coach? Or do you honestly think Fife is the only fit?

    For those who are uncertain on McClain, here’s an encouraging clip from a Denver Post article written shortly before McClain was passed over for the CU job:

    “Said one player’s mother, who asked not to be identified, “All the boys want McClain to take over.”

    While reluctant to comment on Bzdelik’s status, McClain said Sunday afternoon, “We’ve brought the program a long ways in three years and I hope I have the opportunity to continue to be part of it.”

    With the spring national signing period opening Wednesday, McClain could also be expected to deliver on current players CU is recruiting.

    McClain was 157-115 in nine Wyoming seasons, with two Mountain West Conference championships, one trip to the NCAA Tournament and three NIT appearances.

    There were some thinly veiled hints of at least one roster change if McClain isn’t named CU’s new coach, although that is common in coaching-change situations.

    “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.”

    Steve Burks knew McClain back when the CU assistant was on the Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College staff.

    “We have a plan if it doesn’t go the right way,” Burks said. “As of now we’re extremely happy where Alec is at.”

    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.”

    So, he’s a former head coach who gets players on his side. He’s a “tireless recruiter,” has great energy and has been part of helping turn around CU’s program.

    Sounds like it’d be a very well-thought-out and appropriate hire.

  5. adung– I think you may have finally found the perfect mocking nickname for me. 4tards had tried some other lame ones that sounded like he learned from Gretta Van Sustern, but not one of them was even close to funny…

    Click on my name for an accompanying picture.

  6. Really Clarion? You don’t find it helpful to know that he has a reputation as a tireless recruiter, or that when the job was open, the majority of his players hoped he’s be hired? It isn’t encouraging to know that he lured the eventual Big 12 Freshman of the year to Colorado?

    Sorry to have wasted your time, then.

  7. Also, let’s compare Fife to McClain briefly…

    Fife: 65-85 career record in five seasons as a college coach. One .500 season. Zero 20-win seasons. Zero conference championships. Zero NCAA tournament or NIT appearances. No “Coach of the Year” honors. Two years as an member of Mike Davis’ staff.

    McClain: 157-115 in nine seasons as the head coach at Wyoming. Seven seasons over .500. Three 20-win seasons. Two regular season conference championships. Four postseason appearances. MWC Coach of the Year honors. Previously coached Hutchinson Community College (91-16 overall) to a NJCAA National Championship in 1994.

    I really just don’t see the comparison. Fife simply hasn’t been in the game long enough to prove that he’s ready to be an assistant at a top-level program.

    Just another note — the season McClain was fired from Wyoming, his team went 17-15, which is still better than any season Fife has had yet at IPFW.

    You can WANT Fife, but arguing that he’s the better hire doesn’t make much sense.

  8. Calbert cannot bring any coaching experience, zero compared to McClain. Their job is to coach not have an IU background or have an NBA name.

  9. Casey I mistakenly thought you understand me better than that. But because I did not spell it out, I was referring to your info as not being relevant to coachreporter4disreguards.

  10. Clarion,

    Haha my apologies. As you know, it’s sometimes difficult to interpret online sarcasm.

    Yeah, it’s certainly not relevant to 4guards because of its informational nature. He doesn’t like all those “facts” and “statistics.”

  11. There is only one “fact” that 4tards heeds to: “Such and such guy named ________ went to IU.”

  12. Clarion…by “him,” totally thought you were referring to McClain.

    Damn — i whiffed on that one.

  13. This guy would be an assistant coach. If he isn’t a guy who can snare big-time recruits (and I haven’t seen Colorado on that radar screen) then I think all of the text and angst regarding him on this site is a little “nutty.” Cool-Out…If not this guy then there will be somebody else. X’es and O’s coaches are plentiful.

  14. yea, Dawson even laughed at him for trying to compare him to D Wade all the time. It is becoming a joke among recruits.

  15. 4guards,

    Yet another unsubstantiated claim. How many recruits are you close with? What conversations have you had with them about Crean’s recruiting styles? Just wondering what would allow you to say “it is becoming a joke among recruits.” Are you hanging out with a lot of high schoolers these days?

    Also, I’ve read quotes from a number of recruits who view it as a huge plus that Crean coached Wade — in the same way that recruits like that Calipari coached Derek Rose.

    If you have that card to play, why would you not play it?

  16. Casey,
    How far out of the loop are you? No, I am not close with many high school recruits, but it is pretty common knowledge. Dawson has even been quoted.
    Some do view it as a plus, but Crean is severely overplaying it. It was 7 years ago and the only good season Crean has on record. You have to pick and choose when to use that card. You can’t go around telling everybody they are going to be the next D Wade or it loses all its clout, which is what is happening.

  17. 4guards,

    What I’m asking, and what you still haven’t answered is, who besides Dawson has been documented as even speaking to that topic? And what quote are you speaking of? Did he say “yeah, what Crean’s doing is a joke?” Or rather, did he most likely say something to the affect of “haha, that’s flattering, but I don’t know if I’m as good as Wade?”

    How is it common knowledge? What leads you to be able to make that statement?

    Finally, how do you know Crean is playing this card with everyone he recruits? I doubt he is. Do you think he told Moses Abraham he reminded him of Wade?

    I’ll give you a second chance to provide any actual sort of backing information to substantiate your argument. You have a bad habit of never doing that…

  18. The truth, as it usually does between Casey and 4guards, lies somewhere in the middle. Which is not to say you don’t both converse rationally, because you do, but still.
    4guards, I believe the quote you’re referring to was from Peegs’ story, which said this: “Coach always says I’m a Dwyane Wade look-alike,” said Dawson. “Coach Crean always says that. He is a good man.”
    Now whether Dawson meant Crean always says that to everyone or he always says it to him, I don’t know, but he’s obviously not making fun of him there. Now, that being said. I know he told at least Selby that he reminded him of Dwyane Wade. I can’t remember whether I heard that about Jelan Kendrick or not, but I know Dawson isn’t the first player he’s said that to. Now, in all the recruiting discussions with Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Will Yeguete, Moses Abraham, etc., the name Dwyane Wade was obviously never used. I’ll go out on a limb and say neither Austin Etherington nor Matt Carlino nor Cody Zeller nor Marshall Plumlee ever heard it either. Jeremiah Davis? Not out of the question.
    I don’t think I’m speaking out of line by saying it’s a delicate balance. It’s obviously a powerful card you can play, so you can’t be afraid to use it. But it’s sort of like telling every girl you talk to she has the prettiest eyes you’ve ever seen. If some of them happen to get together, (like, say, recruits at an AAU tournament) it could cause some problems.

  19. Dustin
    Your quotes are correct, but you did fail to mention how he was laughing as he said it.
    Obviously he doesn’t use it on every recruit, but he uses it on way too many.

  20. And how many times have we heard how Dakich shut down MJ? Crean developed and coached Wade..Dakich caught Jordan on an off night.

    Show me one man that doesn’t offer a prettier portrait than his accomplishments, and I’ll show you 4guards.

  21. 4guards,
    Don’t know if you saw that someplace else, but I just checked again and it doesn’t say that in the Peegs story. I’m not saying he wasn’t, and he very well could have been, but Peegs didn’t make a note of it.

  22. Dustin- You are doing a great job in Korman’s absence. Keep up the good work.

    My only complaint is that you pander too much to 4guards with phrases like “I’m not saying he wasn’t, but…”

    4guards is an expert spinster troll who creates anti-Crean propaganda where it never existed; yet you are treating him like he is Dick Vitale.

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