Scott McClary has been the head coach for the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team since 2009. On Thursday Feb. 23, Coach McClary announced his resignation to spend time with his family and to focus on his health.
McClary graduated from Muhlenberg in 1994, and spent the following seven years after graduating as an assistant coach with the basketball team. While he was an assistant, the Mules won the Centennial Conference Championship in 1995 and 1998. He was later hired as the head coach for the Marymount team, where he and his team had a successful six years. McClary led the Marymount Saints to the Capital Athletic Conference Championship (CAC) in his last year with the team, and McClary was named the CAC coach of the year.
Upon his return to Muhlenberg as the head coach in 2009, the team ended an almost decade long play-off win drought. Throughout his eight years, McClary accumulated a record of 112- 94. The team experienced early success under his leadership, reaching the Centennial Playoffs in each of his first four seasons (from 2009-10 to 2013-14).
Athletic Director Corey Goff is very appreciative of McClary’s commitment to the school and athletes.
“Coach McClary is a tireless worker who has tremendous passion for Muhlenberg College and our basketball program. We are thankful for his years of dedicated service to the college and our student athletes. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Goff. Shortly after hearing about McClary’s resignation, the athletics department began its search for a new men’s basketball head coach.
“Ultimately we hope to find a great fit for Muhlenberg College but do not have an ideal candidate profile in mind,” stated Goff.
Goff aims to recruit from a diverse pool of qualified and viable candidates from all over the country. The athletics department immediately sent out advertisements on the NCAA job board, and they also hope to spread the news by word of mouth to alumni, family, and friends of the program. Candidates for the position must have a bachelor’s degree, coaching experience, commitment to Division III sports, and great communication and organizational skills.
As of Feb. 27, the department has already received well over 100 applications for the position.
“I would estimate the total number in our applicant pool will exceed 200,” said Goff.
The goal is to find someone that fits into the Muhlenberg community and who is willing to work with the current athletic personnel and athletes.
In regards to replacing McClary, it really comes down to “active recruitment of current head and assistant coaches with proven records of success at other schools like Muhlenberg,” said Goff.
In addition to advertisements, the department established a search committee, including one faculty member, two head coaches from other sports (one male one female), two current members of the men’s basketball team, one member of the sports medicine staff and Associate Director of Athletics Megan Patruno. Goff will serve as the committee chair.
The application review will begin on Mar. 17.
“Patruno and I will screen candidates initially to determine whether or not they meet minimum qualifications and labeling each candidate ‘no’ or ‘recommended for committee review,’” said Goff.
After the initial assessment, the committee will begin to go through the candidates to narrow down the best eight to 15 applicants. Goff will interview each of the candidates over the phone and the committee will conduct interview via Skype.
The top three to five candidates will go through reference checks and on-campus interviews. Once the top candidate is chosen and offered the position, the candidate will have to pass extensive background checks.
Goff did not mention how long the entire process would take, but they hope to hire the best and most qualified candidate as soon as possible.
Ultimately, when November rolls around and the 2017-18 season tips off, there will be a new head coach out on the court.
Photo courtesy of Muhlenberg Athletics