McClain brings championship touch
to Hutch hoops
Some coaches are strapped with the reputation that they can’t win The Big One.
Not Steve McClain.
Not only did he win a national championship as an assistant coach with the Hutchinson Blue Dragons in 1988, he went one better six years later by winning the 1994 championship as HCC’s head coach.
McClain served under Quarterback Club Hall of Fame member Dave Farrar as an assistant from 1986-92. He was promoted to head coach before the 1991-92 season. McClain put together a dazzling record of 91-16 in three seasons as the top Dragon.
McClain’s .857 winning percentage is still No. 1 on the HCC coaching charts. His 91 victories were seventh most in team history when he left to become a Division I assistant after the 1994 season.
The 1992 and 1993 Blue Dragons both reached the Region VI title game but fell short. McClain and the Blue Dragons finally broke through in 1994 with a 73-57 victory in the finals over Butler County.
HCC opened the 1994 NJCAA Tournament with a 99-83 victory over Bossier Parish and then defeated Chattahoochee Valley 81-67 in the quarterfinals. After defeating Connors State 80-79 in a thrilling semifinal, McClain found himself locked up in a championship game matchup against coaching legend Gene Bess and Three Rivers Community College.
The Blue Dragons (35-4) defeated Three Rivers 78-74. Roy “Pooh” Hairston, Ben Davis and Lucas Wagler were named to the All-Tournament team and Hairston was a first-team NJCAA All-American.
McClain’s HCC teams were among the highest scoring in program history. The 1993 Blue Dragons still rank as the highest-scoring team in HCC history at 93.5 points per game. The 1994 team scored the most points in team history (3,506 points). All three of McClain’s Blue Dragon teams rank in the Top 5 in team history in scoring average and points scored.
Over McClain’s three years as head coach, 16 players moved onto Division I programs. Hairston was a two-time All-American and Davis was a second-team All-American in 1994.
McClain left HCC to take an assistant’s job at TCU. From there, he moved into the head coaching position at Wyoming, where he coached the Cowboys from 1998-2007. McClain led the Cowboy program through one of its most successful periods in school history, posting the fifth highest winning percentage in school history (57.7 percent) and achieving a 157-115 record, averaging 17 wins per season through his nine years.
After Wyoming, McClain spent three seasons at Colorado and moved onto the top assistant’s job at Indiana before the 2010-11 season.