OFFICIAL: McClung named Head Basketball Coach at NAIA Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

Following up on something that I mentioned earlier today (NAIA DIRT). NAIA Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has officially named Jesse McClung as their new head men’s basketball coach. Here’s the official release from SMWC:

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Associate Vice President of Athletics Kevin Lanke announced the hiring of Jesse McClung as the head men’s basketball coach at SMWC on Tuesday.

McClung, an Indianapolis native and three-year starter at Lawrence North High School, is the third Pomeroys’ head men’s basketball coach, arriving at SMWC following a successful six-year stint as associate head coach at Marian University. 

The Knights have posted a 124-38 record over the past six seasons and qualified for six straight NAIA National Tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight in 2019 and the Final Four in 2020. 

“The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods athletic department is stronger today with the naming of Jesse McClung as men’s basketball coach,” Lanke said. “In addition to his strong basketball accomplishment resume as a player and coach, Jesse has a passion for the off-court development of student-athletes.  His commitment and vision to build the program over the next few years will fit in well with the College’s overall enrollment and athletic goals.”

McClung’s coaching career began in 2008 as an assistant at Marian, focusing on recruiting. He moved on to NCAA Division III Wabash College from 2011 to 2014, helping the Little Giants reach as high as No. 14 in the national rankings. 

For the next two years, McClung gained valuable experience as a head coach at the high school level, guiding Bethesda Christian to a 38-13 record over two seasons.

After playing for Jack Keefer at Lawrence North, McClung continued his playing career at Barton County Community College. He moved on to Ball State University, playing two seasons that including earning the team defensive award and the team spark award. McClung was a captain for his final collegiate season at the University of Indianapolis. 

SMWC is coming off a 10-17 season overall and 5-13 record in the River States Conference in 2022-23. The 10 wins were a seven-game improvement from the inaugural 2021-22 season. 

“Jesse is one of the best up and coming coaches in our profession. He can flat out recruit and I have no doubts he will be a great leader of young men!” 

– Greg Tonagel, Head Coach, Indiana Wesleyan University
“Jesse McClung exemplifies leadership, driven by a passion and unwavering work ethic. With his exceptional recruiting skills and unwavering dedication to player development, Jesse stands out in our coaching field. He has a true understanding of the game, coupled with his effective teaching abilities, sets him apart. I am thrilled to witness the remarkable success that Jesse and his program are bound to achieve.” 

– Matt Crenshaw, Head Coach, IUPUI 
“The time, energy and effort that Jesse has put into his coaching career have prepared him well for this opportunity. He has helped build one of the best NAIA programs in the state, and I know that he will help build Saint Mary-of-the-Woods into a contender as well. He will be a great addition to the community and a regular fixture in the Wabash Valley. I couldn’t be more excited for him and his family.” 

– Rusty Loyd, Head Coach, DePauw University

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