The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

McGarvey in, Jordan out: Lafayette hires new head men’s basketball coach

Mike McGarvey helped overhaul the Lycoming Warriors program before coming to Lafayette. (Photo courtesy of @lafayettembb on Twitter)

Fresh off of leading the Leopards to their first Patriot League championship appearance since 2015, Mike McGarvey was officially introduced as head coach Wednesday in a press conference.

“It’s a dream job for me at Lafayette,” McGarvey, who served as acting head coach starting on February 21, said. “It’s close to home for me and my family. It’s always a place where I thought, professionally, would be an exciting place to be the leader.”

Director of Athletics Sherryta Freeman cited McGarvey’s performance at the tail end of the Leopards’ 2022-2023 season as the rationale for tapping him.

“We saw in the last few weeks and certainly as we went through the Patriot League tournament that Coach McGarvey had the background, experience and certainly the leadership to be able to guide our team,” Freeman said.

McGarvey was brought in last year to be the associate head coach under Mike Jordan, who was placed on leave midseason and subsequently terminated following its conclusion due to an investigation into his workplace conduct. The Leopards were 9-20 with just two games left before the tournament when McGarvey took over.

McGarvey stated that he is not permitted to engage in any discussion regarding the previous coach Mike Jordan. Freeman similarly refused to elaborate on why Jordan was investigated and fired.

“It was definitely a unique set of circumstances,” McGarvey said. “The one thing that stayed consistent throughout that time was to just get lost and focused in the work — pour into the players, make sure they had a chance to finish out what they started. I think our staff did an unbelievable job of making sure that we stayed committed to their process.”

The team went on a run in the Patriot League tournament under McGarvey, upsetting third-seed Lehigh as the sixth seed and then defeating American University at home in double overtime to secure their spot just one win away from March Madness.

“We were on a journey. To play in March Madness is a really special thing – it’s what every kid’s basketball dream is,” McGarvey said. “To get to that finish line was really important for us. It is unfortunate that we didn’t get over the finish line but I think that experience will serve us well for the future.”

McGarvey came to Lafayette after a four-year stint as head coach at Lycoming College where he took the previously mediocre Warriors to three straight conference championships and two wins. He also spent time as an assistant coach at Colgate where he helped guide the team to a then-school record 19-win season.

“One of the things that was important to us is that we understood his experience as a previous head coach at Lycoming, so that experience for us was very important,” Freeman said. “It’s something that he was able to display when he was put into that acting head coaching position. That was important for us, to be able to see that the person has the capability to be able to lead in the ways that we need them to lead and coach.”

“I think I look a lot younger but I have sixteen years of experience at all different levels. The previous position of being the head coach at Lycoming, I think, has prepared me well for this opportunity.” McGarvey said.

But as the team looks at the future, there are a lot of questions. This recent coaching change has created a certain degree of roster uncertainty as star freshman forward Joshua Rivera has already announced his intention to transfer to Atlantic-10 standout Fordham, in part because of the “recent coaching change,” as he wrote in a tweet made before McGarvey was officially hired as head coach.

“I think it is fluid right now. I think we are trying to figure out roster management,” McGarvey said. “Our two signed freshmen are going to maintain and then it’s just a matter of understanding if there are any other moving pieces, if we need to re-recruit and see what we have.”

“I think one of the main benefits is that we are going to have continuity amongst our staff,” McGarvey continued. “When you finish on such a high note, you want to be able to build on that.”

Trebor Maitin ’24 contributed reporting.

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Charlie Berman, Sports Editor

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