MT MBB Taps UNC-Asheville's Nick McDevitt as Head Coach

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Hear from our new HC Nick McDevitt has a message for Blue Raider fans!

A new era for Middle Tennessee men's basketball has officially begun as Nick McDevitt (Mick-DEV-it) has been tabbed as the 20th head coach of the Blue Raiders, announced Saturday by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Director of Athletics Chris Massaro.

"I've had the privilege of working at several major universities and never before have I had such a powerful first impression from a prospective coach," said McPhee. "I was simply blown away by Coach McDevitt's enthusiasm, his energy and how he shares our vision and values."

McDevitt will be officially introduced to the Blue Raider faithful in a press conference on the main floor of Murphy Center at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. The press conference will be open to the public.

For fans who can't be there, NewsRadio WGNS will have coverage "LIVE" with the Voice the Blue Raiders, Chip Walters, anchoring the events.

"We had a thorough, national search and Coach McDevitt kept rising to the top," said Massaro. "People all across the country have commented on his ability to coach at a high level while recognizing how well he has recruited. He is the total package and I think our community will embrace him because he is a great fit for Middle Tennessee."

The Marshall, N.C., native comes to Murfreesboro after a five-year stint as the head coach at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where he led the Bulldogs to a 98-66 overall record which includes three consecutive 20-win campaigns in the last three seasons.

McDevitt's Bulldogs have made three consecutive postseason appearances, starting with a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 before making the 2017 CollegeInsider.com Tournament and the 2018 National Invitation Tournament.

"I would like to thank Dr. McPhee, Chris Massaro and their team for the incredible opportunity to lead the basketball program at Middle Tennessee State University," said McDevitt. "This program has enjoyed many successes over the last several years under Kermit Davis' leadership and we're excited to build upon and grow the program moving forward."

McDevitt takes over for Davis who led the Blue Raider program for the past 16 years.

"My congratulations go out to Nick and his family," said Davis. "I know Chris Massaro, Dr. McPhee and the Parker search firm had some unbelievable candidates for a magnificent college basketball job. I've coached against Nick's teams and he does a fantastic job with his players and is a great recruiter. He'll do a wonderful job and I believe he has a personality that the Murfreesboro community will really embrace."

The Bulldogs went 21-13 this season to lock up the regular season title in the Big South Conference after winning a share of the regular season title with a 23-10 record the season before. The Bulldogs' remarkable season in 2017 earned McDevitt Big South Conference and NABC District 3 Coach of the Year Honors.

McDevitt was also a 2017 finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award. Named after the late Skip Prosser, who passed suddenly in 2007 while the head coach at Wake Forest, the award is presented annually to those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who also display moral integrity off of it as well.

In 2016, McDevitt guided UNC Asheville through the Big South Tournament to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament, his first as a head coach. His postseason history didn't start in 2016, however.

The 38-year old's run at UNC Asheville first began in 1997 when the guard signed to play for the Bulldogs. Following the end of his playing career in 2001, former head coach Eddie Biedenbach immediately appointed McDevitt to his staff as an assistant coach.

After 10 years as an assistant under Biedenbach, McDevitt was elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2011-12 season and took over the head job in 2013 upon Biedenbach's resignation.

In 17 seasons on the Bulldog staff McDevitt led his squads to a total of seven postseason trips, including four NCAA Tournaments that featured a pair of wins in play-in games in 2003 and 2011. The Bulldogs have won seven regular season titles in their history, six of which McDevitt has been a part of as either a player or coach.

"My wife Lauren and I always said that it would take a special place to leave our home in Asheville," added McDevitt. "We now know we have found that in Murfreesboro."

The Blue Raiders' new head man earned his bachelor's degree in history from UNC Asheville in 2001. He was twice named to the Big South Conference All-Academic team and was a member of the Dean's List four different times at UNC Asheville. He was also a member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll three times and served on the NABC Student Basketball Council his junior and senior years.

McDevitt will be welcomed to the Blue Raider family alongside his wife, Lauren, and their son, Cooper Lee, and newborn Kathryn Ann.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE HEAD COACH NICK MCDEVITT

"I first got to know Nick through Eddie Biedenbach. Nick was an assistant for him at UNC Asheville, and Eddie told me, 'If you ever get a chance to hire this guy, you should. He's going to be a star in this business.' I've always been impressed with Nick as a very well-rounded coach and also a family guy who cares about his players' development off the court. He's done a great job throughout his time at UNC Asheville. He's a great hire for the Raiders and brings a lot of great qualities to the Middle Tennessee family." - Tennessee head men's basketball coach Rick Barnes

"I am excited for Nick McDevitt and this hire for Middle Tennessee. Nick is an excellent young coach who has done an exceptional job at UNC Asheville. He is a really hard worker and very diligent as well. He will bring an exciting brand of basketball that Middle Tennessee fans will enjoy." - Clemson head men's basketball coach Brad Brownell

"Nick McDevitt is a great hire for Middle Tennessee. He did yeoman's work at UNC Asheville and should keep the Blue Raiders at the top of C-USA." - CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein

"To me Nick is the perfect hire for Middle Tennessee. One of the things that made Kermit Davis so good was the ability to evaluate up and see the absolute best that a player is capable of and Nick has that ability as well. He is a terrific coach, tactician and teacher and will play an exciting style of basketball that fans will really enjoy watching. He's a terrific recruiter because he has great contacts and he will be able to sign kids that will help Middle Tennessee continue building on its recent success." - ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg

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Multiple media sources are reporting University of North Carolina-Asheville's Nick McDevitt will be named the next head coach of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider men's basketball program.

An official announcement could come as early as today (Saturday) from the university.

McDevitt, age 38, was named the UNC-Asheville coach in April of 2013. He led the Bulldogs to back-to-back Big South Conference championships.

The 2017 Big South Conference Coach of the Year and the NABC District 3 Coach of the Year, McDevitt led the Bulldogs to their sixth Big South Conference regular-season title in the 2016-17 season (1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17). He has now been a part of five of the six Big South Conference regular-season crowns either as a player, assistant coach or head coach (1997-98, 2001-02, 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17). He was a player for the Bulldogs from 1997 to 2001.

McDevitt is married to the former Lauren Cooper, and the couple has one child, Cooper.

Stay with NewsRadio WGNS for more on this developing story.

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