OFFICIAL: McMillan named Head Basketball Coach at Samford

Photo Courtesy Samford Athletics

Been talking about this one for a while (SAMFORD DIRT). It was made official earlier this morning….

Samford University has hired Bucky McMillan as its 29th head men’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics Martin Newton announced Monday morning.
“When we set out to hire a new coach for our men’s basketball program, we had three main criteria,” Newton said. “We wanted someone with head coaching experience and a proven track record of winning championships, someone who could excite and engage the Birmingham and Samford communities and someone who understands and embraces the mission of our great university. Bucky McMillan quickly became the obvious choice. Bucky has a proven track record of winning championships, a tireless work ethic, a unique basketball mind and the energy and enthusiasm to bring championship basketball to Lakeshore Drive.” 
McMillan comes to Samford after serving as the head coach at Mountain Brook High School for the past 12 seasons. McMillan has led the program to unprecedented success, reaching the state finals in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and the team won the title in the state’s highest classification in 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In 2020, the Mountain Brook program was ranked 13th in the list of top 25 public high school basketball programs in the United States over the last decade. In 2018, the National High School Coaches Association named McMillan its National Coach of the Year after his team finished the season with a 34-3 record and ranked No. 17 in the USA Today national rankings. His 2019 team finished the year ranked No. 5 nationally by USA Today. McMillan’s teams were ranked No. 1 in the AHSAA state rankings during each season from 2013 to 2020.
“I am thankful and grateful for this opportunity,” McMillan said. “I want to especially give thanks to the leadership at Samford for their confidence in me to lead this program. When I came to Mountain Brook I had never been a high school head coach and the administration there took a chance on me, and this is a similar situation. I am ecstatic to be going to work for one of the top Christian universities in the country, whose values I believe in. I am excited to get to Samford and build relationships with the faculty and staff, and most importantly with the student-athletes.”
McMillan was named USA Today’s Alabama Coach of the Year in 2019; Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Coach of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015; Birmingham Tip-Off Club State Coach of the Year in 2012, 2015 and 2019; and Over The Mountain Coach of the Year in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019. He was selected to coach the Alabama All-Stars in the 2019 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. That same year, he was named one of the coaches of Michael Jordan’s “Jordan Brand” All-Star Classic.
During his 12-year run in charge of the Spartans’ program, McMillan won 333 games, averaging nearly 28 wins per season. After posting an 18-12 record in his first season as head coach, McMillan’s teams won at least 23 games in each of the next 11 seasons.
In addition to his work at Mountain Brook High School, McMillan founded the Bucky Ball Academy, a youth camp to enhance and unify basketball in the Mountain Brook community. He also founded the Alabama Flyers program that provides off-season basketball opportunities for the community’s youth.
McMillan played his college basketball at Birmingham-Southern College from 2002 to 2006, where he was named to the Big South Conference Academic Honor Roll all four seasons, and to the league’s All-Academic team as a senior. He also earned the distinction of being named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honor’s Court. McMillan earned his bachelor’s degree in education services from Birmingham-Southern in 2007.
While a student at Mountain Brook High School from 1999 to 2002, McMillan received All-State honors from the Birmingham News in 2002 and was nominated for the McDonald’s High School All-America team. The Birmingham News also named him to its All-State Athletic Academic team.
“I encourage everyone to get their season tickets now and enjoy the Bucky Ball era of Samford basketball,” Newton said.
“As a former high school coach myself I am excited for both Bucky and Samford University. Bucky is someone who has put his time in and climbed the ladder to earn this opportunity. I have only known him a short time but have seen first-hand that he has the unique ability to connect and motivate his players, the knowledge to evaluate and develop them and the drive and passion it takes to coach at a high level. I’m confident he will do some great things at Samford.”
Nate Oats, University of Alabama Head Coach

“Bucky is an incredible leader of young men. He is fully committed to his players’ overall development both on and off the court. Samford just got a lot better by hiring Bucky!
Travis Steele, Xavier University Head Coach

“Great hire for Samford University. Bucky has been ultra-successful as a head coach at Mountain Brook and every coach I know who’s seen him work all agree he can coach at this level. Bucky will be a force on the recruiting trail as well, having been a part of so many successful teams and players at Mountain Brook. One of the biggest bright spots of this hire is the excitement Bucky will bring to the program, to Birmingham and to college basketball in Alabama. We were able to tap into that when I was at Samford and it helped bring about the success we enjoyed.  It’s just an excellent hire by Samford University and Martin Newton.”
John Brady, Former Samford University and LSU Head Coach
“I was an assistant coach at UAB in the mid-90’s when a young, tough, smart little point guard came to our camp and led his team. Bucky was a Good Player at BSC before embarking on an incredibly successful high school coaching career at his alma mater. I’m truly excited for him as he embarks on the tremendous opportunity provided to him by Samford University!! Can’t wait to watch him do great things at that great university!!
Andy Kennedy, UAB Head Coach

“Bucky McMillan has proven himself over the last few years to be one of the finest young coaching minds and tacticians in basketball regardless of level. Without question, he demands a high level of execution, team work and togetherness. It’s been very impressive to see how he develops young people into a cohesive and team-first culture. I think Samford fans will be very excited and energized by Bucky and his program’s upside and energy as he builds forward.”
Tom Crean, University of Georgia Head Coach

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