Steve McClain enters his third year with the Colorado coaching staff and second year as the associate head coach.
McClain joined the CU staff in 2007 after serving as the 19th head coach at the University of Wyoming from 1998-2007. For nine seasons, McClain led the Cowboy program through one of its most successful periods in school history posting the fifth highest winning percentage in school history (57.7 percent) and achieving a 157-115 record.
"To have someone like Steve McClain with his successful background as a head coach is a real asset to the University of Colorado," Bzdelik said. "He brings energy, experience, leadership and knowledge."
McClain’s teams averaged 17 wins per season through his nine years.
In four of his nine seasons, Wyoming appeared in postseason play advancing to the second round in each of the 2002 NCAA and the 2003 National Invitational Tournaments. UW also advanced to the second round of the 1999 NIT and appeared in the 2001 NIT.
In conference play, McClain’s teams captured two of the first seven Mountain West Conference titles, sharing the title for the 2000-01 season and winning it outright in 2001-02. The outright title in 2001-02 was Wyoming’s first outright championship in 20 years.
McClain, 47, coached two All-Americans during his stint Laramie. Josh Davis was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American in his senior season of 2001-02. Prior to the 2002-03 season, Marcus Bailey was one of only 50 players nationally named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team.
In five of nine seasons that McClain coached in the MWC, at least one Cowboy earned All-Mountain West Conference first-team honors: Josh Davis (1999-2000 and 2000-01); Marcus Bailey (2000-01 and 2001-02); Uche Nsonwu-Amadi (2002-03); Donta Richardson (2002-03) and Jay Straight (2004-05).
The high point of the Cowboys’ return to national prominence was Wyoming’s appearance in the 2002 NCAA Tournament marking the school’s first appearance since 1988. It was in that season, McClain engineered one of his best Cowboy teams earning Coach of the Year honors by his fellow coaches, winning a school-best 22 victories (the most since 1987-88) and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
His 2001-02 Cowboy squad broke two of the nation’s longest winning streaks. With its 73-66 win over No. 6 ranked Gonzaga in the opening round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Wyoming broke the Bulldogs 14-game winning streak, a then-school record. Earlier in the year at Utah, the Cowboys 54-46 defeated the Utes breaking Utah’s 48-game home win streak against conference opponents, which was the longest conference winning streak in the country. The Cowboys ended the season among the Top-32 teams in the country.
In the 2000-01 season, McClain earned Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year honors from CollegeInsider.com, and garnered the same honor from MWC media members for the 1999-2000 season.
McClain and his Wyoming teams won 18 or more games five times with a trio of consecutive 20-win seasons from 2000-2003 marking the first time three 20-win seasons was accomplished in 15 years on the Laramie campus.
Also during his nine seasons, the Cowboys defeated three Top-25 ranked opponents — No. 20 TCU on Jan. 14, 1999; No. 24 Utah on Feb. 28, 2000; and No. 6 Gonzaga on March 14, 2002.
His Wyoming squads were consistent contenders in the conference race during his tenure. UW finished in the top half of the conference in six of McClain’s nine seasons at UW.
Prior to his head coaching experience in Wyoming, McClain was an assistant at Texas A&M in 1998, then served as an assistant coach at Texas Christina University from 1994-98. While at TCU, McClain helped lead the Horned Frogs to a Top-25 ranking an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998 under head coach Billy Tubbs staff.
The year prior to the Tubbs’ staff taking over in Fort Worth, TCU posted a record of 7-20. Three years later, the Horned Frogs posted a 22-13 record, advanced to the Championship Game of the 1997 Western Athletic Conference Tournament and played their way into the Second Round of the National Invitation Tournament. In 1998, TCU joined the elite programs in the country, posting a 27-6 record and leading the nation in scoring at 97.2 points per game.
The Horned Frogs earned an NCAA Tournament bid in 1998, and ended the season ranked No. 15 in the final Associated Press poll. TCU also became the first team in Western Athletic Conference history to go undefeated in league play, posting a 14-0 record in 1998 on way to winning the WAC Pacific Division title.
Not only did McClain enjoy success as an assistant coach, but he brought to Wyoming an outstanding record as a head coach. In 1994 as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan., he won the National Junior College Championship in only his third season, and was named the National Junior College Coach of the Year.
At the junior-college level, McClain compiled a 91-16 (.850) record in three seasons, and his teams were known as high-scoring squads. His 1994 National Championship team averaged 90 points per game on way to a 35-4 (.897) record. In 1992-93, the Hutch Dragons compiled a 29-5 (.853) record, averaged 92.6 points and ended the season ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA. His first season as head coach, 1991-92, Hutchinson posted a 27-7 (.794) record.
Prior to becoming head coach at Hutchinson, McClain served as an assistant coach there for five seasons, helping guide the Dragons to the 1988 NJCAA National Championship. Before coaching at Hutchinson, he was also an assistant coach at Independence Community College in Independence, Kan. (1985); Sioux Empire Junior College in Iowa (1984); and his alma mater Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb. from 1982-84.
Born August 15, 1962, McClain is a native of Orient, Iowa and is a 1984 graduate of Chadron State College. McClain is married to the former Kim Van Asselt of Hutchinson, Kan. They are the parents of a son, Dylan (8).