Coach Mac Puts In 43 Years of Coaching
Darren Doyle, story: Alyssa Doyle, photos:
Edmonson County Wildcat Head Basketball Coach Mike McClintic has announced his retirement from both coaching and teaching after the 2020-21 school year.
Coach Mac joined the boys' basketball program at ECHS in 2013 as an assistant coach and took over the program during the 2014-15 season. In 2017, McClintic led the Wildcats to their first district championship since 1993, breaking a 24-year drought.
McClintic discussed his career and his thoughts on moving forward after the school year ends.
"It's been fun and I've loved it," he said. "I've been blessed with great kids, with great parents, and the only complaint I have is that we didn't get more wins--and that's not for me, that's for the kids."
Coach Mac began his professional career as a teacher at his Alma Mater at Orleans High School in Orleans, Indiana in 1978, where he also began coaching JV basketball and was assistant coach to the varsity team. In 1986 he moved to Cannelton High School in Indiana where was named head varsity coach and stayed until 2000, when he retired from Indiana schools.
He came to ECHS in 2002 as a special education teacher and began coaching the ECMS boys team until 2004 when he took over the Edmonson County Lady Cat basketball program. He remained head coach for the Lady Cats through 2011 until he was named head coach of Lady Cat Volleyball. He came to the boys' basketball program as assistant during the 2013-14 season and became head coach in 2014 where he has remained ever since.
In addition to coaching basketball and volleyball, he also coached ECHS track from 2012-16 and he has been the assistant athletic director at Edmonson County since 2010.
This season makes his 43rd year in basketball, not counting all the years as a player in both high school and college. As a player at Orleans High School in Indiana in the early 70s, McClintic regularly took on NBA legend Larry Bird, as Bird played for Springs Valley High in French Lick, a rival school of McClintic's Bulldogs from Orleans.
"We played against each other all the time," said Coach Mac. "He was a fantastic player when he was 6'2", but after one summer he came back and he was 6'8". He was unstoppable then."
Bird and McClintic were actually teammates, if only for a couple months in college.
"He never talked about it, but he transferred to Northwood Junior College where we were teammates," Mac said. "He didn't stay long, it was only a couple of months before he left there and went to Indiana State. From there, well, he became "Larry Legend."
The 65-year old McClintic simply said, "It's time." He has two daughters and six grandchildren in Indiana, with whom he wants to spend more time.
"As you get older, you get more mellow, you get softer, or at least I have," he said. "I don't really have any plans for the future except spending more time with my family. That, and I'll probably play a little golf."
He said any success that may have come his way was because of the kids he coached and the people around him.
"I've been lucky. I have a wife like Teresa who has supported me and encouraged me, and she was a big part of why I got back into basketball. The administration has been great here, we've always gotten along great. And everyone knows how close Bart (Weaver) and I are. We had a lot of great times together here, I just can't say enough about this place. Not just him, but all the great coaches we've had and still have on our staff. It's just been great. I'm proud of all the kids that I've seen come through our programs. Most all of them have been successful after they leave here. Anything good that's ever come out of here while I've been here is because of those kids."
McClintic said he hopes that he'll be remembered as a positive person that tried to brighten the lives of the kids he coached. He said while everyone wants to win and see banners hanging, he said he also wanted to focus on mentoring kids and helping players and students become better people.
McClintic's record as head coach for the Lady Cats was 73-108 and 87-99 (as of today) as head coach for the Wildcats, which is not likely to turn any heads or win awards. However, at every graduation ceremony at ECHS, you'll find a long line of seniors--boys, girls, players, and students-- waiting to get their photos taken with Mike McClintic, and that says all a person really needs to know.