A new era for Middle Tennessee men’s basketball has officially begun as Nick McDevitt has been tabbed as the 20th head coach of the Blue Raiders, announced Saturday by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Director of Athletics Chris Massaro.
“I’ve had the privilege of working at several major universities and never before have I had such a powerful first impression from a prospective coach,” said McPhee. “I was simply blown away by Coach McDevitt’s enthusiasm, his energy and how he shares our vision and values.”
McDevitt will be officially introduced to the Blue Raider faithful in a press conference on the main floor of Murphy Center at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. The press conference will be open to the public.
“We had a thorough, national search and Coach McDevitt kept rising to the top,” said Massaro. “People all across the country have commented on his ability to coach at a high level while recognizing how well he has recruited. He is the total package and I think our community will embrace him because he is a great fit for Middle Tennessee.”
The Marshall, N.C., native comes to Murfreesboro after a five-year stint as the head coach at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where he led the Bulldogs to a 98-66 overall record which includes three consecutive 20-win campaigns in the last three seasons.
McDevitt’s Bulldogs have made three consecutive postseason appearances, starting with a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 before making the 2017 CollegeInsider.com Tournament and the 2018 National Invitation Tournament.
“I would like to thank Dr. McPhee, Chris Massaro and their team for the incredible opportunity to lead the basketball program at Middle Tennessee State University,” said McDevitt. “This program has enjoyed many successes over the last several years under Kermit Davis’ leadership and we’re excited to build upon and grow the program moving forward.”
McDevitt takes over for Davis who led the Blue Raider program for the past 16 years.
“My congratulations go out to Nick and his family,” said Davis. “I know Chris Massaro, Dr. McPhee and the Parker search firm had some unbelievable candidates for a magnificent college basketball job. I’ve coached against Nick’s teams and he does a fantastic job with his players and is a great recruiter. He’ll do a wonderful job and I believe he has a personality that the Murfreesboro community will really embrace.”
The Bulldogs went 21-13 this season to lock up the regular season title in the Big South Conference after winning a share of the regular season title with a 23-10 record the season before. The Bulldogs’ remarkable season in 2017 earned McDevitt Big South Conference and NABC District 3 Coach of the Year Honors.
McDevitt was also a 2017 finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award. Named after the late Skip Prosser, who passed suddenly in 2007 while the head coach at Wake Forest, the award is presented annually to those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who also display moral integrity off of it as well.
In 2016, McDevitt guided UNC Asheville through the Big South Tournament to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament, his first as a head coach. His postseason history didn’t start in 2016, however.
The 38-year old’s run at UNC Asheville first began in 1997 when the guard signed to play for the Bulldogs. Following the end of his playing career in 2001, former head coach Eddie Biedenbach immediately appointed McDevitt to his staff as an assistant coach.
After 10 years as an assistant under Biedenbach, McDevitt was elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2011-12 season and took over the head job in 2013 upon Biedenbach’s resignation.
In 17 seasons on the Bulldog staff McDevitt led his squads to a total of seven postseason trips, including four NCAA Tournaments that featured a pair of wins in play-in games in 2003 and 2011. The Bulldogs have won seven regular season titles in their history, six of which McDevitt has been a part of as either a player or coach.
“My wife Lauren and I always said that it would take a special place to leave our home in Asheville,” added McDevitt. “We now know we have found that in Murfreesboro.”
The Blue Raiders’ new head man earned his bachelor’s degree in history from UNC Asheville in 2001. He was twice named to the Big South Conference All-Academic team and was a member of the Dean’s List four different times at UNC Asheville. He was also a member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll three times and served on the NABC Student Basketball Council his junior and senior years.