Staff
Head Coach
Mike McGuire

Mike McGuire has become a household name in the New River Valley thanks to his success on the court, his involvement in the community and his reputation as a man of great character. His time at Radford has been full of joyous moments and unforgettable seasons.

With an overall record of 116-75 (.607) at Radford, McGuire owns the third-best winning percentage of any coach in program history. He has gone 78-36 (.684) in Big South play and has led the Highlanders to two Big South regular season championships. Over the last three seasons alone, Radford is 74-25, the best three-year stretch in program history and has an impressive 40-2 record inside the Dedmon Center over that time span.

Now entering his seventh season at the helm of the Radford women’s basketball program after taking the position on April 24, 2013, he is widely recognized as one of the up-and-coming head coaches in the nation. McGuire quickly laid a solid foundation when he arrived at Radford and has successfully seen his vision come to fruition.

McGuire has been recognized three times as the Big South Coach of the Year (2015, 2018, 2019), making him the first coach in program history to achieve the feat. His hard work and dedication to the program have been on display day-in and day-out for many years, proving that no one could be more deserving of that recognition.

Under his direction, 15 Highlanders have been named All-Big South, three have earned VaSID All-State honors and the Highlanders earned their first ever Big South Conference Sportsmanship Award following the 2018-19 season. The program has also excelled like never before in the classroom, earning an APR score of 1,000 across the last four years.

Radford put together one of the greatest campaigns in school history in 2018-19, going 26-6 overall and 17-1 in Big South play to clinch the regular season title and the top seed in the Big South Tournament. McGuire and the Highlanders would go on to win the Big South Championship and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 23 years. Another impressive feat was the 2018-19 team earned a spot in the final College Insider Mid-Major Poll, coming in at No. 25.

During non-conference play, Radford took down Temple, VCU and Virginia to become battle-tested for life in the Big South. It was then that the Highlanders really shined, going on an 18-game winning streak to close out the regular season and tear through postseason play. A 15-1 record inside the Dedmon Center treated fans to a near-perfect performance at home.

Destinee Walker and Lydia Rivers were voted First Team All-Big South, Sydney Nunley and Khiana Johnson made the Second Team, and Jen Falconer was selected for the All-Academic Team. Walker also made an appearance on the VaSID Second Team All-State team.

The 2017-18 season saw McGuire lead Radford to its second straight 24-9 mark, compiling a 48-18 record over the last two seasons, which ranks as the best two-year mark in program history. The Highlanders finished with a 15-3 clip in Big South play, the 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, McGuire and the Highlanders made back-to-back WNIT appearances as part of a stretch that saw the team make the WNIT in three of four years. 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 during the span.

The Highlanders have made a habit out of upsetting Power Five opponents under McGuire. In his five completed seasons, Radford has topped the likes of Penn State and Wake Forest. Victories over regional rivals such as Appalachian State, VCU, UNCG, Davidson and others have also buoyed the Highlanders’ resume in recent years.

In his fourth season after taking over the reins of the women’s program, McGuire put together one of the most memorable seasons in program history during the 2016-17 campaign. McGuire 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.

McGuire is happily married to his wife, Nataleigh. The couple has three beautiful daughters named Harper, Ellie, and Reese, who have already proven to be some of Radford’s biggest fans.

Follow Coach McGuire on Twitter: @coachmcguire.

Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
Nikki Newman

Nikki Newman is in her first season as an assistant coach for the Radford women’s basketball program after being hired on August 28, 2019.

Newman had an illustrious career with James Madison from 2009-14. She played in 147 games with 120 starts and tallied just under 4,000 minutes during her career. Newman was also a two-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year (2012 & 2014) and the Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior. She helped guide the Dukes to three CAA Tournament Championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances all in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

Following her career as a Duke student-athlete, Newman served as the Assistant Director of Operations for the JMU women’s basketball team for the 2014-15 season. As the assistant she aided the Director of Operations with daily tasks such as organization of travel, distribution of money, sending recruit mail-outs, database entries and coordination of practice players.

Most recently Newman worked as the radio color analyst for James Madison women’s hoops since the 2015-16 season. She also helped as the television color analyst for the CAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Newman has been an elementary school teacher and worked numerous camps, including the James Madison Women’s Basketball Camp while playing at JMU.

The Harrisonburg, Va., native received her Master of Arts in Teaching in May 2014 after she earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2013, both from James Madison University.

At Radford, Newman will be the scouting coordinator, wing position coach and will assist with recruiting and academics.

“I am so thrilled that Nikki made the decision to join our coaching staff, McGuire said. “Nikki is special. I had the opportunity to coach her in travel ball and have always admired her to approach to everything she does. She is a competitor, hard worker, a winner and is loyal. She had an exceptional playing career at JMU during one of the most successful stretches in their program history. Nikki is going to be a phenomenal role model for our ladies on and off the floor. I’m excited to help her grow as a collegiate coach.”

Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
Chrystal Starling

Chrystal Starling is in her first season as an assistant coach for the Radford women’s basketball program after being hired on July 3, 2019.

Prior to joining McGuire's staff, Starling served as an assistant girls varsity coach for The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York since 2017. She helped guide the Panthers to a 17-6 record and the schools first state championship in the 2018-19 season. Along with her time at The Masters School she has coached the Junior Knicks Basketball Team since 2018. Starling also coached the Empire State Blue Flames Girls AAU Club Basketball program beginning in March 2018.

Before Starling returned to the Empire State, she worked with young players at numerous combines and showcases in 2017. She coached at the Harlem Show Basketball Academy in Beijing, the NBA Pro Combine hosted by Milwaukee Bucks scout Rodney Heard, the Nike Hyperdunk Show Promotional Event and the Nike China Summit where she was assistant coach to LeBron James.

The Syracuse, New York native was the head coach at Bradshaw Christian Middle School in 2014 and was also an assistant at Bradshaw Christian High School from 2014-16. Starling began her coaching career in 2006 at Los Angeles Pierce College as the assistant women's basketball coach before transitioning into the high school game in 2008 where she coached at two different programs until 2010.

Starling is familiar with the New River Valley after playing at Virginia Tech from 1998-2003. She went on to have an extensive professional career in countries such as Turkey, Spain and Luxembourg. Starling even spent time in the United States as a Pro-Am Women's Team member in 2006 and a WNBA practice player for the Sacramento Monarchs.

Starling graduated with a Bachelor's Degree of Arts in English Studies from Virginia Tech in 2003 before advancing her academic career with a Master of Science in Health and Physical Education at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Director of Basketball Operations
Carlie Clary

Carlie Clary was promoted to Director of Basketball Operations for the Radford women's basketball program on July 3, 2019.

Clary served as the Assistant Director of Basketball Operations for Radford last season. Clary has been with McGuire since 2017 where she put in time as the head manager for the 2017-18 season. She assisted the Director of Operation in all day-to-day activities, coordinated meal arrangements for all away activities for student-athletes and managed team stats for practices.

The Dublin, Va., native moved up the ranks during the 2018-19 season as the assistant director of operations. Her duties included developing internal social media strategies, recruiting mail out strategies and preparation, practice organization and film breakdown, database entry and administrative duties as assigned by Coach McGuire.

Her experience in coaching ranges from Assistant Women's Varsity Coach at Auburn High School from 2014-2016, Assistant Women's AAU Basketball Coach at Pulaski County High School in 2014 and more.

In her time at Radford, Clary has proven to be an excellent student in the classroom and of the game of basketball. She graduated in 2018 with a degree in Exercise, Sport & Health Education as well as in Communications/Media Studies. She also carried a Coaching Education minor and was a Highlander Scholar graduate of the honors academy. Clary will complete her Master's Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Management online at LSU in March of 2020.

What They’re Saying About Mike McGuire…

“I am truly excited for Mike. Mike has proven over his career to be a very capable coach, but more importantly, a humble winner. In Mike’s five years at Richmond, we have experienced five-straight years of postseason play. That is not a coincidence. Radford is getting a tireless worker, a great basketball mind, a very good recruiter and an even better person. I look for Radford to immediately benefit from Mike’s leadership as he will bring credibility and a winning attitude to its program. I have been honored to work with Mike and feel fortunate to call him a friend.  This is the right move, going back to the area where he is from and it is time for Mike to have his own program. Radford made a great choice!”

Michael Shafer

University of Richmond

Head Women’s Basketball Coach