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LSU hiring Murray State men's basketball coach Matt McMahon

Liam Niemeyer
Murray State coach Matt McMahon speaking to local media before departing from the Murray-Calloway County Airport.

Louisiana State University is hiring Murray State University coach Matt McMahon to be their next men’s basketball head coach in Baton Rouge.

Several national media outlets, including ESPN, reported Monday LSU was finalizing a deal to hire McMahon. LSU fired its head coach, Will Wade, following a notice of allegations from the NCAA detailing significant misconduct during his tenure. LSU Athletics on social media announced the hiring of McMahon Monday evening.

In an interview at the Murray-Calloway County airport, McMahon said it meant everything to him to help develop outstanding basketball players during his time at Murray State.

“We’ve been blessed to coach some elite players here over the years and build some incredible relationships that’ll last forever, both with players, coaches – here in this great community of Murray. So it’s been a great blessing for me to spend over a decade of my life here,” McMahon said.

Former players including Jonathan Stark and Shaq Buchanan offered praise and congratulations on social media.

McMahon said the finalizing of the hire happened within the last 24 hours and that he took the opportunity in Baton Rouge in part because the university is one of the “great brands” in college sports. He said he plans to take a similar approach in developing his LSU team as he did at Murray State.

“I wanna help max out young people. Help them become the best player they can be, obviously want them to get a world-class education at LSU,” McMahon said. “Ultimately, the goal is to win championships at the highest level, and I know we’re gonna be able to do that at LSU.”

McMahon helped lead the Racers to a 31-3 record this season, going undefeated in Ohio Valley Conference play, receiving a Top 25 ranking from the Associated Press and winning the conference tournament to receive a seven seed in the NCAA Division I tournament. He was named to the Naismith Coach of the Year semifinalist list earlier this month. The Saint Peter’s University Peacocks upset Murray State in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday.

Including the most recent season, McMahon had won more than two-thirds of his games as Murray State’s head coach and had won three conference tournaments. He joined Murray State in 2011 as an assistant coach and was promoted to head coach in 2015.

Murray State Athletics Director Kevin Saal in a statement said the university would conduct a “thorough and efficient national search” for a new head coach.

“[W]e want to extend sincere thanks, gratitude and appreciation to Matt, Mary and the entire McMahon Family. Building upon remarkable tradition, Matt’s tireless work ethic, genuine care for people and authentic leadership for more than a decade, he has guided our men’s basketball program to a position of great strength and accomplishment,” Saal said. “The McMahon family will forever be cherished members of the Racer Family and we wish them the same unprecedented success on the journey ahead.”

Liam Niemeyer
Matt McMahon and his family leaving Murray-Calloway County Airport for a jet taking them to Louisiana.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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