Former assistant for Richmond looks to turn around Campbell’s basketball program
For the last eight years, Kevin McGeehan has been the right-hand man for Richmond University head coach Chris Mooney, helping guide the Spiders to two NCAA tournaments and one appearance in the Sweet 16.
Mooney was in town on April 11 to support McGeehan — his friend and colleague — as he took the next big step in his coaching career, head men’s basketball coach at Campbell University.
“I am excited and honored to take this program to the next level,” McGeehan said before a packed crowd of supporters, Campbell administration and faculty and players in the lobby of the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center. “This is going to be an exciting place to watch basketball. And we’re going to do some incredible things here.”
Prior to the 2008-09 campaign at Richmond, McGeehan was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach. Among the highlights for the Richmond program during McGeehan’s time on staff was consecutive NCAA tournament berths, including a trip to the 2011 NCAA Sweet 16. The Spiders were ranked in the national top-25 polls in 2010 and set a school record with 29 victories one year later when they won the Atlantic-10 Conference championship.
McGeehan assumes control over a program that has called the 3,095-seat Gore Arena inside the Pope Convocation Center home since November 2008. Over the last five years, the Camels have amassed a 48-24 (.667) record at home.
“As you move through your career, you look for opportunities that fit. I felt like I was ready to move on, and Campbell University was the perfect fit for me,” McGeehan said. “I couldn’t think of another school that was a more perfect fit.”
He said he did his research on the program and the school prior to interviewing for the position, and he instantly viewed Campbell as a school and program on the rise. After his first meeting with Athletic Director Bob Roller, McGeehan said he was hooked.
“[My wife] Melissa and I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of every person we have met and are excited to add our family to this Campbell family,” he said. “I feel like we have a formula for success right here.”
Q & A
A few months into his new gig as head men’s basketball coach at Campbell University, Kevin McGeehan took the time to discuss the outlook for his team.
DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST FEW MONTHS AS COACH
McGeehan: It’s been great. I like the group of guys we have. They are good kids and have been very responsive to coaching. Our guys have been working hard, and they’re learning a lot. We’ve taught a lot and they’ve retained a lot in five weeks. To their credit, it’s a substantial amount of information to process. Everyone in the community, administration and on campus has been so supportive.
HOW DO YOU DEVELOP TEAM UNITY?
McGeehan: When we brought in recruits for official visits, we held cookouts and played whiffle ball. We want our recruits and players to feel the vibe of the group and have them want to be a part of it. We want to foster an environment of people wanting to be together. You can do that through ordinary experiences like playing horseshoes or cooking out.
WHAT IS YOUR RECRUITMENT PROCESS?
McGeehan: We’ll place a premium on skill-level and athleticism. In a perfect world, you’d like to balance your roster with recruits who can learn from the returning players. We’ve talked with prospects about the fact that it’s an exciting time to be a Campbell, being on the ground floor with a new coach and being a cornerstone piece in the program.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE 2013-14 SCHEDULE?
McGeehan: The schedule we inherited is very challenging with games at Cincinnati, N.C. State, Appalachian State, Robert Morris and UNC Wilmington. We’ll have ECU and North Carolina Central at home and have been able to add a home-and-home series with Georgia Southern. The schedule will be challenging with some winnable games in there as well.