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The Roanoke College grad was a former coach at William Byrd and Hidden Valley high schools.
Photo courtesy of University of Richmond; Mike McGuire
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A familiar figure in local women’s basketball circles will be returning to the area to take over Radford University’s floundering program.
Vinton native Mike McGuire, who coached Hidden Valley High School to back-to-back state Group AA championships and also coached at his alma mater William Byrd before spending five seasons as an assistant coach at Richmond, will be introduced Wednesday as the new Highlanders head coach.
“I couldn’t be more excited to get there and get started,” McGuire said.
At Richmond, McGuire was also named one of the top 14 mid-major assistant coaches by National Basketball Insider in 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Richmond went 117-76 during his stay there.
McGuire replaces Tajama Abraham Ngongba at Radford, fired after going 62-85 in five seasons.
McGuire said he’d been interested in some head coaching opportunities at smaller schools “but this is the first time I’ve been through the process at the Division I level. It’s been a great experience.”
McGuire said he was taken with the athletic vision of Radford president Penny Kyle and athletic director Robert Lineburg.
“It’s a great place to build a program,” McGuire said.
There is a lot of building to be done. Radford, which once dominated the Big South Conference by winning nine conference titles in the circuit’s first 15 seasons, is 43-41 in the league the past five seasons. Radford was above .500 in the conference only twice under Ngongba. Radford is 86-80 in the Big South over the past 11 seasons.
Radford has not won the Big South regular season since 1991-92 and the tournament since 1995-96.
As a high school head coach, McGuire went 105-52.
McGuire’s move to Richmond coincided with the Spiders signing of his best player at Hidden Valley, Abby Oliver. A two-time Timesland player of the year, Oliver scored 1,488 points at Richmond and was the program’s No. 7 all time. She’s now in private business in the Roanoke Valley and could be a candidate for McGuire’s staff at Radford.
“I plan to have some discussions with her to see what her interest level might be,” he said.
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