Mike McGuire is entering his first season as Head Coach of the Women’s Basketball team with some limitations. As the season begins, he has a roster of nine girls at full strength. He is in the process of earning trust from a team he didn’t recruit and is forced to teach his team how to be careful with fouls and aggressive with rebounding. He knows margin for error is small.
McGuire also knows he loves nothing more than molding a team to grow and mature. He lives for experiences like these.
“I love everyday interaction with the players and building relationships with them and trying to make them understand that you want to see them do things they didn’t think they could do,” McGuire said. “It’s about pushing the limits they didn’t think they had.”
As a child, McGuire was always involved in sports. His parents were supportive of him pursuing his interests. Falling in love with competition and building relationships, he took to both basketball and baseball.
“Looking back, sports were all I wanted to do,” he said.
In high school, McGuire developed more of a passion for basketball because he loved the pace of the game and the physicality of the environment. He also was inspired by Michael Jordan.
Regardless, he decided to play Division I college baseball here at Radford on partial scholarship.
“I was here and I was like, you know, I miss basketball,” McGuire said. “I didn’t feel right and I wasn’t being right to my teammates.”
As a result, he then transferred to Roanoke College with every intention to play basketball, but never did. He got involved with coaching instead, and it stuck with him from that point forward. When he wasn’t in class, he was helping a friend coach the junior varsity men’s team at the local high school.
After a couple years, he shifted to the girl’s side. It was a see-saw route from there. He went back to his high school alma mater and was an assistant for both the boys and girls teams, then he went back to Roanoke and was the men’s team’s assistant for one year before he went back to his alma mater once more where he finally got offered a head coaching job for the women’s team.
“It’s been a crazy path,” he said. “Kind of a slow progression of moving your way up, which has been fun.”
McGuire stayed at the high school level for six years. For the past five years, he was an assistant for the women’s team at the University of Richmond.
This marks his 17th year coaching.
“It’s kind of become my way of life,” McGuire said.
He has enjoyed the player’s eagerness to learn and likes watching a team progress. He is looking to move the Radford team in a positive direction.
In the exhibition game against Bluefield College on Nov. 2, the team pulled out a 70-56 win. Radford downed Emory & Henry 74-38 on Saturday, Nov. 9 in its season opener.
Under coach McGuire, the team is off to a good start.
“We have to understand who we are and what we can bring to the table,” McGuire said. “Being real and honest. We’ve got to be really good at what we can control.”