Mike McBride head shot

Mike McBride

Providence graduate Mike McBride guided Holy Cross College to its best season, which included the program’s first-ever berth in the NAIA national tournament. Now, he’s reaping the rewards — and awards.

Friday, McBride was named the 2020 NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches)/NAIA Coach of the Year in Division II.

In his seventh season at the helm of the Saints, McBride guided them to a 27-6 record, which included a 14-game winning streak. Holy Cross went 20-2 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and shared the regular-season league title with Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), which featured former Christian Academy standout Nic Reed. McBride also was named the CCAC Coach of the Year.

“It was a special group to coach,” said McBride, a 1991 PHS graduate. “Tough, smart.”

At the 29th annual NAIA Division II Championship in Sioux Falls, S.D., Holy Cross edged Indiana Tech 60-56 to win its first game in the 32-team, single-elimination tournament. The tourney, however, was canceled the next day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the season the Saints ranked first in Division II in scoring defense (63.73 points per game), fifth in total rebounds per game (30.7) and ninth in defensive field goal percentage (40.8 percent). Holy Cross was ranked No. 10 in the final coaches’ Top 25 poll.

McBride, who is the program’s all-time wins leader, has a 131-90 record with the Saints and has averaged nearly 19 victories a season. Prior to McBride’s arrival, Holy Cross averaged only seven wins per season in program history.

Under McBride, the team has had 19 players awarded to the CCAC All-Academic Team and three individuals named NAIA Scholar-Athletes. The Saints have also had 14 players earn CCAC All-Conference honors during McBride’s tenure. This season, Holy Cross senior forward Larenzo Moore became the first player in program history to earn NAIA All-American honors.

Prior to arriving at Holy Cross, McBride had coaching stints at Tusculum College (Tenn.), IU Southeast and Eastern Kentucky. He also guided the high school programs at Tipton and Eminence in Indiana.

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