Coach McGuff and players talk about the upcoming season
Ohio State and Duke graduates are the first official coaching hires for new head coach Kevin McGuff
Former Xavier and Washington coach becomes the eighth head coach in program history
Ohio State takes on Northwestern in the Big 10 Conference Tournament
USATSI photos, women's basketball
Ohio State vs. Iowa
Ohio State women's basketball
Ohio State vs. No. 1 UConn women's basketball, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013
Kevin McGuff was named head coach of The Ohio State University women's basketball program on April 16, 2013, becoming the eighth coach in program history. McGuff's 12-year head coaching career consists of nine years at Xavier University (214-73) and two years at the University of Washington (41-26) before arriving in Columbus. He holds a .700 overall winning percentage with a career mark of 272-117.
In his first season McGuff led a relatively young and inexperienced group to a 17-18 record against a schedule strength that consistently ranked in the top 3 throughout the year. The Buckeyes started the season with a 70-61 win on the road at West Virginia, a team that went on to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State defeated five of the 64 teams in the NCAA field last season, including a one-point buzzer-beater loss to Gonzaga and a four-point loss at Georgia.
But the highlight of the season came in March when the Buckeyes made an improbable run to the Big Ten tournament semifinals, upsetting No. 1 seed Penn State, 99-82, along the way. Ohio State nearly reached the championship game, falling to Iowa, 77-73, in the semifinals. Sophomore Ameryst Alston, a first team All-Big Ten performer, was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 27.7 points and 4.3 assists and hitting 10 3FGs in the three tournament games. Alston ranked third in the Big Ten with 20.3 ppg in conference play during the season.
Off the court, McGuff and his staff have worked tirelessly on the recruiting trail and last fall landed the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the country, highlighted by McDonald's All-American Kelsey Mitchell. And they didn't stop there, signing a pair of top 35 transfers in Kianna Holland (Duke) and Shayla Cooper (Georgetown) from the 2013 signing class in January.
Prior to his arrival at Ohio State, McGuff, a Saint Joseph's College (Ind.) graduate, went 41-26 in two years at Washington with two berths in the WNIT. In his first season McGuff led the Huskies to a 20-14 finish -- its first 20-win season since 2003 -- and a trip to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. In the WNIT, Washington went on a memorable run, beating Cal Poly, Utah and Oregon State before falling to San Diego in the quarterfinals. It was the first winning season for UW since 2006-07 and the first postseason appearance since 2009-10. In his final season his Huskie squad finished 21-12 with a second round finish in the WNIT.
On the recruiting trail, McGuff landed the program's first two McDonald's All-Americans in Katie Collier in 2012 and Kelsey Plum in 2013.
Prior to his stint in Washington, McGuff was the head coach at Xavier for nine seasons. As the head coach of the Musketeers, McGuff compiled a 214-73 record and set a school record for most wins in program history, reaching the postseason in each season he coached. His five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances was also a school record. During that stretch, McGuff's Xavier teams were consistently the class of the Atlantic-10, sporting a 106-28 record in nine seasons. In his last two seasons, Xavier went undefeated (14-0) in A-10 play.
McGuff led the Musketeers to four A-10 tournament championships, including his final year at Xavier. That season, his team posted a 28-3 record (.903 winning percentage) and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. McGuff made the NCAA tournament six times overall as the Xavier coach. His pinnacle was an Elite Eight appearance in the 2009-10 season, where his team was one missed layup away from the Final Four.
In Cincinnati, McGuff demonstrated he could bring talented student-athletes to the Queen City from across the nation. From 2005-11, McGuff signed players from 12 states, showing he is capable of recruiting in all areas of the country. The class he signed in 2010 was ranked No. 18 in the country.
McGuff took over the Xavier job after a six-year run as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, inheriting a team that had gone 12-19 the year before. McGuff steered the program to a 20-10 record, one of the most significant turnarounds for a head coach at that time. While with the Fighting Irish, McGuff was an assistant to legendary coach Muffet McGraw. He was a staff member on the Notre Dame team that captured the NCAA Championship in 2001. The Irish reached the Sweet Sixteen four times during his tenure in South Bend and the Final Four twice.
Prior to taking the job as an assistant at Notre Dame, McGuff held a similar position with Miami University (Ohio). During his time in Oxford, McGuff was in charge of scouting efforts, internal and external operations of the program, as well as the director of the team's summer camps.
The 44-year-old McGuff is married to wife, Letitia. The couple has six children: Kilyn, Keiryn, Lukas, Lake, Lily and Leks.
What they are saying about Kevin McGuff:
"I was excited to hear about Kevin's hiring. I have watched his progression through the college ranks for a number of years. The Ohio State University got a great coach and person and I'm happy to have him in our Basketball Family."
"Kevin is a tremendous coach who has achieved success everywhere he has been. He has a great eye for talent and a terrific understanding of the game. As a native of Ohio, he's an ideal fit because he's someone who not only understands the unique traditions of Ohio State, but can carry on and enhance the run of success that has made Ohio State one of the Big Ten's top programs."
"I know Kevin as a basketball coach perhaps as well as any coach. And I respect him as much as anybody. He has a phenomenal way of connecting with young kids, not only coaching them but also recruiting them. What he did at Xavier was unprecedented. I worked right next to him for five years, and I know Ohio State could not have found a better basketball coach. He's comprehensive, not only with recruiting but also player-development. Most importantly he has the ability to win, and he covers all bases."
"Kevin brings passion and energy to the Buckeyes and is making an immediate impact in Columbus. He brings a wealth of basketball knowledge on the court and will have Ohio State competing for Big Ten titles again in no time."
McGuff's Year-by-Year Coaching Record