LARAMIE, Wyo. (April, 1998) -- University of Wyoming Athletics Director Lee Moon officially announced Steve McClain as Wyomings 19th head basketball coach Wednesday.
McClains appointment is subject to University Trustee approval, Moon said.
McClain, 35, has been an assistant coach at TCU since 1994. He was formerly the head coach at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan., from 1992-94. McClain led Hutch to a National Junior College Championship in the 1993-94 season, and was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coach of the Year.
"I was looking for someone with quality experiences," Moon said. "I wanted someone who had been involved in building a Division I program from the ground up, and Steve certainly was involved in that at TCU. He has been a head coach, and won a national championship. To win a national championship at the intercollegiate level is a tremendous accomplishment.
"Its been an emotional few days. It has been a time of anxiety and disappointment, and now it is a time of anticipation and excitement. We have closed one chapter, and now we are beginning a new one in our tradition."
McClain is a native of Orient, Iowa, and a 1984 graduate of Chadron (Neb.) State College. He was an original member of head coach Billy Tubbs staff at TCU. Over the past four seasons, McClain has helped guide the Horned Frogs to an 80-45 (.640) record, including a 27-6 (.818) record in the 1997-98 season, an NCAA Tournament berth and a No. 15 ranking in the final 1998 Associated Press poll.
"My goal has been to be a Division I head coach, and I thank the University of Wyoming for giving me that opportunity," McClain said. "Im here to build a program. We are going to build on what was accomplished last season. Im looking forward to getting out in the state, and meeting the people. I know how special the program is to them, and I know the tradition this program has. This is their program, and Im very fortunate to be their coach."
This past season, TCU became the first team in Western Athletic Conference history to go undefeated in league play, posting a 14-0 record, and winning the WAC Pacific Division title. TCU also led the nation in scoring, averaging 97.2 points per game for the 1997-98 season.
At the junior-college level, McClain compiled a 91-16 (.850) record in three seasons, and his teams were known as high-scoring squads. His 1994 National Championship team averaged 90 points per game on way to a 35-4 (.897) record. In 1992-93, the Hutch Dragons compiled a 29-5 (.853) record, averaged 92.6 points and ended the season ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA. His first season as head coach, 1991-92, Hutchinson posted a 27-7 (.794) record.
Prior to becoming head coach at Hutchinson, McClain served as an assistant coach there for five seasons, helping guide it to the 1988 NJCAA National Championship. Before coaching at Hutchinson, he was also an assistant coach at: Independence Community College in Independence, Kan.; Sioux Empire Junior College in Iowa; and his alma mater Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb.
He is married to the former Kim Van Asselt of Hutchinson, Kan.