Send to KindleAn intense competitor who possesses a rare ability to connect with people off the court, Kevin McGeehan was named the head coach of the Campbell Fighting Camels on April 11, 2013, after spending the past eight seasons at Richmond. He’ll assume the reins of a Camels team that finished 13-20 overall and 7-9 in league play but welcomes back a talented core that began Big South play at 5-1 last season before sputtering down the stretch.
Two of the returnees expected to play vital roles this season are rising senior Marvelle Harris, a 6-6 forward who averaged 8.2 points and 6.4 boards a night last year, and Reco McCarter, a versatile forward who shook off rust (after sitting a year following his transfer from VCU) to post averages of eight points and nearly four boards a contest in 2012-13.
McGeehan’s herd will be challenged early and often in its non-conference slate, with games at Cincinnati, NC State, Appalachian State, Robert Morris, UNC Wilmington and new Missouri Valley Conference member Loyola of Chicago. The Camels also welcome ECU, North Carolina Central and Delaware State to Gore Arena and added a home-and-home series with Georgia Southern.
So what’s on the mind of Head Coach Kevin McGeehan as he enters his first season at CU? Read on…
College Chalktalk: What are your impressions of the Campbell campus? How is the family settling in?
Kevin McGeehan: The campus here is beautiful, Dr. Wallace has done an amazing job during his tenure of improving the University both with the academic programs which have been added and the new building and beautification of the grounds. He has a great vision for what Campbell can become. Melissa and the kids got to Buies Creek a couple weeks ago and are enjoying getting to know the area. The boys are looking forward to playing some fall baseball and starting to see Camel fall sports.
You’ve brought along a nice group of young assistants. Can you briefly talk about the greatest strength of each?
Peter played at Richmond and we worked side by side for the past several years. I believe he is more than ready to begin his career as a fulltime recruiter and on the floor coach. He is incredibly intelligent and has a great sense for people. He will relate well to 17 year old recruits and, likewise, to 90 year old grandparents. He is very well rounded as a person and coach.
We faced Chris a number of times at Richmond as he starred for Temple. Chris has played for some amazing coaches in his career (Morris, Chaney, and Dunphy) and has brought pieces of each of their styles to his coaching. He loves basketball and will be a terrific recruiter for us along with helping our young backcourt learn the finer points of the guard position.
Dan was one of the original building blocks at Richmond, he has been through the good and the bad and knows what it takes to win. Dan has an amazing ability to relate to all kinds of people. He will be very good recruiting and also with player development, particularly with our post players. He did a nice job with Coach Henderson the past two years at Princeton.
I love the dynamics on the staff and, from my first moment talking with Mr. Roller, our AD have talked about filling my staff with people I trust. There is nothing more important in this business than having good strong relationships with your staff.
(Harris brings toughness to the interior corps)
The Fighting Camels were 13-20 last season. What are your thoughts about the returning personnel?
KM: I’m excited about the group of returning players. I think we have a really good nucleus of talent here and they have all been very responsive to the coaching. I anticipate Reco McCarter, Andrew Ryan, Darius Leonard, Leek Leek, Marvelle Harris and Antwon Oliver all to be contributors to the success this year. We have a group of young guards that I think will also be key for us; Luke Moyer, Quinton Ray and Kyre Hamer.
What are you most looking forward to as embark upon this new phase of running your own program?
KM: First, I am incredibly humbled by the opportunity to lead the Fighting Camels program, Mr. Roller and Dr. Wallace have entrusted me with this role and I will cherish it. I think the opportunity to make decisions that will help shape the program is awesome. More importantly, I think the ability to help mold the lives of the group of young men in our program is something I am eager to do.
You were with Chris Mooney a long time. What will you remember most about the time you spent next to one another on the bench and what he taught you?
KM: There are so many incredible memories of my time with Chris. What people may not know is that we have an incredible friendship, he is my daughter Grace’s godfather. We will be friends forever, in about 20 years we’ll be going to our kids’ weddings laughing about old times.
I would say the two most incredible basketball memories were winning the Pioneer Athletic Conference Championship at Lansdale Catholic High School on a half court buzzer beater vs Pottstown back in 1997. The other would have to be the A10 Championship and Sweet 16 run of 2011, that one was especially emotional because Melissa had Grace on Monday and we went to Denver on Wednesday. What a week! What made those two championships so special was that what went in to getting there, only Chris Mooney and I shared those two experiences.
I think besides Xs and Os the biggest thing I learned from Chris is patience in how you run the program. He has taught me an incredibly well-rounded approach to the management of a program. I think everything is founded on relationships between staff and players and honesty and integrity in our daily approach.
What is one thing we don’t know about Campbell?
KM: Well, I did not know much about Campbell before the job came open. I have been overwhelmed with the family atmosphere here in Buies Creek. That and the amazing facilities here particularly Gore Arena (below) and McCall (our practice Facility) are incredible.
(Photo by: Bennett Scarborough)
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