HOT: Kent McBride Hired as Head Basketball Coach at California U. (PA)

Following a championship season in the uptempo Mountain East Conference (MEC) last year, Kent McBride was announced as head men’s basketball coach at California University of Pennsylvania during a news conference held at the Natali Student Center on Thursday afternoon.

McBride spent the past five seasons as head coach at Concord and posted an 83-63 record while with the Mountain Lions. Last year, he led the program to its first conference title since 1997 and its second-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. McBride previously served as an assistant coach at both Glenville State and West Virginia Wesleyan following a standout playing career at Concord.

“I am certain that Coach McBride will be a role model for our student-athletes, working just as hard as they do to make our men’s basketball program a success,” said University President Geraldine M. Jones. “He understands the high hopes we have for all our Vulcan athletic teams, but he also knows that ultimately our goal is to prepare every Cal U student, including our student-athletes, for a purposeful life and a meaningful career.”

Last year, the Mountain Lions finished with a 22-10 overall record and  captured the MEC Tournament Championship as the fourth seed. Concord claimed an upset, double-overtime victory over West Liberty, the No. 1 team in the country and the top seed in the league, in the semifinals of the league tournament before erasing an eight-point, second-half deficit against Notre Dame (Ohio) in the championship. The Mountain Lions earned the automatic qualifier after winning the MEC title and appeared in its first NCAA Tournament in nearly two decades.

“This is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often. California is a job that you immediately have to look at,” said McBride. “For me to leave Concord was a very difficult thing, but I say that to elude to how special this place is.”

McBride enjoyed instant success when returning to his alma mater as head coach in the 2011-12 season. Concord advanced to the semifinals of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) Tournament and finished with a 17-12 overall record, as the program was just two years removed from a six-win campaign.

During his time with the Mountain Lions, McBride mentored nine players that received all-conference recognition. He helped develop All-MEC First-Team guard Rob Reed, who finished fifth in the league last year in scoring at 21.5 points per game. Reed eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone despite playing only two seasons at Concord and ranked fourth in the country last year with 119 three-pointers made.

“California is a program, and a school, that expects to compete for championships, but before we compete for championships there’s going to have to be some small things we all need to understand that have to happen first,” said McBride. “You have to be an everyday winner; you go to class, do your job everyday, come to practice everyday. Winning is a byproduct of your everyday attitude.”

McBride started his coaching career at West Virginia Wesleyan during the 2006-07 season and spent two years as an assistant coach. In his second year with the program, the Bobcats registered a seven-win improvement and tallied their most wins since the 2001-02 campaign.

A native of Mullens, West Virginia, McBride then served as assistant coach with Glenville State for two years. He helped mentor one of the leading scorers in the country in senior Justin Caldwell, who ranked fifth in NCAA Division II and paced the WVIAC at 23.5 points per game after playing the previous three years at West Virginia Wesleyan.

McBride was a point guard for the Mountain Lions from 2002-06 under head coach Steve Cox, who is Concord’s all-time winningest coach. He started 83 of 84 games over his last three years and scored over 900 points, while tallying over 500 assists and 200 steals during his career. As a sophomore, McBride started every game while helping the Mountain Lions post a 22-7 overall record – their winningest season in over a decade.

McBride earned his bachelor’s degree from Concord in mathematics with a minor in business administration in 2006. He later completed a master’s degree in business administration from West Virginia Wesleyan in 2008. McBride and his wife, Holly, have one son, Campbell.


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