April 21, 2000
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Steve McClain, who in his first twoseasons has become one of the most successful basketball coaches inUniversity of Wyoming history, has been awarded a two-year contract extensionand raise, it was jointly announced Friday by University PresidentPhilip L. Dubois and Athletics Director Lee Moon.
McClain, 37 (Aug. 15, 1962), will have his contract extended throughthe 2005 basketball season. A standard buyout clause will remain in thecontract according to the President.
Dubois said that McClain's state-funded base salary will be raised$10,000 to $110,008. In addition he will receive a supplemental salaryincrease of $49,000. This amount includes a $24,000 annual housingallowance from Athletic Department generated revenue and a $25,000contribution from the Cowboy Joe Club. Both increases are effective July 1,2000. The president said the supplemental increase will be generated byprivate funding through the Cowboy Joe Club and from Section II revenuegenerated by the UW Athletics Department. The total compensation package,which includes summer camp and shoe contract income, will exceed $300,000for the next fiscal year, according to Dubois. The president also haswritten into the contract academic incentives that would pay an additional$5,000 if 25 percent of his top 12 scholarship athletes earn all-conferenceor GTE academic honors, and $10,000 if 50 percent earn these honors.
"We are extremely pleased with the job Steve is doing with ourbasketball program," Dubois said. "He has brought excitement back to Cowboybasketball, and to the Arena-Auditorium. We also are appreciative of theCowboy Joe Club's commitment. We felt it imperative that we raise Steve'scompensation to a more competitive level."
Dubois said that McClain will receive additional increases from theCowboy Joe Club for each of the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons which willraise his compensation to at least $355,000 per year by the end of thecontract. This includes a back-loaded supplemental pay increase from theCowboy Joe Club of $25,000 in the first year, $50,000 in the second year,and $75,000 in the third year.
"I'm excited and honored that the University Trustees, PresidentDubois, Lee Moon and the Cowboy Joe Club Board of Directors have that muchconfidence in what we are doing with the Cowboy basketball program," McClainsaid. "I think this is a great demonstration that there is a commitment bythe University of Wyoming to build a Top 25 program, by maintaining thecontinuity in this program. Like our fans, I'm excited about our players, aswell as our prospects for recruiting in the future."
McClain, who became Wyoming's 19th head basketball coach on April22, 1998, is 37-22 in his first two seasons.
"It is hard to measure what Steve has meant to our program," Moonsaid. "He is an outstanding coach, and person, and we are fortunate to havehim with us. We are excited to be able to do this for him. We feel veryconfident that he can elevate Cowboy basketball to a national level. We hopethat our fans are as excited about the extension and the stability itprovides our program as we are. This is an exciting time for Wyomingbasketball."
In his second season, McClain regrouped and retooled a team that hadlost its star player (Ugo Udezue) five games into the season, and directedit to a 19-12 overall record and an 8-6 Mountain West Conference mark. TheCowboys finished the season winning seven of their last nine games whilealong the way knocking off the league's top three teams, UNLV, Utah and NewMexico, sweeping both ends of the season series with the Lobos. Inaddition, the Cowboys won for the first time in league post-seasontournament play in nine seasons. For his efforts, he was selected by mediaas the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year.
McClain's uptempo style of play kept the Cowboys among the nation'shighest scoring teams throughout the season. They finished the year fifthin the country in scoring at 82.8 points per game. That marked the highestscoring average by a Wyoming team in 30 seasons. The Cowboys also brokeschool records for three-point field goals made and three-point attempts ina single season, and finished second in school history for most pointsscored in a season with 2,576 in 31 games. The 1990-91 team scored 2,641points in 32 contests.
In his two years with the Cowboys, McClain's teams have posted a24-3 (.889) home record. In conference games he is 12-2 (.857) in theDouble A. That winning percentage is 10 points higher than the Cowboyaverage through the first 18 years in the Arena-Auditorium. In the historyof the building the Cowboys are 196-63 (.757) at home since the Double Aopened for the last game of the 1981-82 season.
McClain's team was much-improved on the road, as well. The Cowboyswon five road games last season, the most road wins by a Wyoming team innine years.
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 (Fort Worth, Texas). Over his four seasons in Fort Worth,McClain helped guide the Horned Frogs to an 80-45 record, including a 27-6record during the 1997-98 season, an NCAA Tournament berth and a No. 15ranking in the final 1998 Associated Press poll. The 1997-98 TCU teambecame the first team in Western Athletic Conference history to goundefeated in league play with a 14-0 mark. TCU led the nation in scoring at97.2 per game.
Prior to his assignment at TCU, McClain was head coach at Hutchinson(Kan.) Community College from 1992-94. While there, he led Hutch to aNational Junior College Championship in 1993-94, and was named NationalJunior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coach of the Year. At thejunior-college level, McClain compiled a 91-16 (.850) record in threeseasons. His 1994 National Championship team averaged 90 points per game onits way to a 35-4 (.897) record. He never won fewer than 27 games duringhis years at Hutchinson.
He is married to the former Kim Van Asselt of Hutchinson.