Head coach Mike McGuire has completed five seasons at the helm of the Radford women’s basketball program after taking the position on April 24, 2013.
Widely recognized as one of the up-and-coming head coaches in the country, McGuire has quickly laid a solid foundation for the program moving forward.
McGuire led the Highlanders to its second straight 24-9 mark, compiling a 48-18 record over the last two seasons, best two-year mark in program history. Radford finished with a 15-3 clip in Big South, most wins in program history. For the second straight season, Radford dropped no more than two games in a row.
Leading Radford to its third straight Big South Tournament semifinal appearance, Radford made its second straight WNIT and third in four years under McGuire. The Highlanders defeated Big Ten foe Penn State 63-62 in overtime for the third postseason win in program history.
Radford went 12-1 inside the Dedmon Center, holding a 28-1 mark since February 2016 as the Highlanders won 21 straight at one point, ranking as the third longest home streak in the country.
McGuire became the second coach in program history to be named Big South Coach of the Year twice as he earned his second honor in four seasons.
In his fourth season after taking over the reins of the women’s program, McGuire’s put together one of the most memorable seasons in program history during the 2016-17 campaign. McGuire has increased the program’s win totals from seven in his first season to 17, 18 and 24 over the last three seasons. Since that 7-23 season in 2013-14, McGuire has compiled an 81-45. record.
Dropping no more than two games in a row throughout the season, Radford concluded its magical 2016-17 season with a 24-9 record, finishing with the second most wins in program history. Only the 1988-89 squad won more games, compiling a 25-7 record.
In Big South Conference play, Radford finished with a 14-4 record for the second most conference wins in the team’s history, matching the record set during the 2014-15 season. Racking up the wins on the floor, Radford also racked up its first Big South Regular Season Championship in 25 years, defeating Campbell with a thrilling 49-48 win.
In addition, Radford collected its 700th win in program history on February 21, 2017, becoming the second program in Big South history to win 700 games.
Developing the nickname “Cardiac Kids,” midway through the season, Radford played in nine games decided by three points or less with five coming in the last seven games of the season. The Highlanders compiled a 7-2 record in those games, which may be due to the calm demeanor of McGuire. During McGuire’s tenure, Radford is 21-11 in games decided by five points or less.
Providing fans with suspenseful games all season long, Radford’s lockdown defense was a major part of the season’s success. The Highlander defense finished the season ranked inside the Top 15 nationally in two defensive categories. Holding opponents to a mere 55.0 points per game, Radford ranked as the 10th best defense in the country. The Highlanders ranked 11th with a 35.1 field goal percentage defense.
Individually, Radford placed four on All-Big South squads. Destinee Walker and Jayda Worthy earned a spot on the first team, marking the second consecutive season the Highlanders put two on the first team. Janayla White was named to the honorable mention squad and Khiana Johnson on the all-freshman team.
Radford collected two three-point victories in the Big South Tournament, earning its first championship appearance since 2008. The Highlanders fell just short of earning its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1996, dropping the championship game 49-48 to UNC Asheville.
The Highlanders made their second WNIT appearance under McGuire and the seventh postseason appearance in program history.
Despite a 2015-16 season ravaged by injuries, McGuire steered Radford to its most wins (18) since the 2007-08 season. The Highlanders, who tied for third in the Big South regular-season standings, advanced to the semifinals of the Big South tournament for the first time since 2013.
Defense was the cornerstone of Radford’s success. The Highlanders concluded the season ranked fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.333), 14th in scoring defense (53.3) and 16th in blocks per game (5.6).
In just his second season at the helm (2014-15), McGuire guided the Highlanders to their third WNIT in school history. Radford, which finished with a 17-14 overall record, including a 14-6 Big South ledger, finished tied for second in the Big South regular-season standings. It was the Highlanders’ highest finish in the conference standings since 2010-11.
McGuire’s work did not go unnoticed as the conference’s 11 head coaches selected him Big South Coach of the Year, marking the sixth head coach in program history to earn the accolade.