Xavier University Names Brian Neal As Interim Women's Basketball Head Coach Following Amy Waugh's Resignation
Neal Spent Seven Seasons As Head Coach At Thomas More Prior To Joining Xavier's Staff In 2011.
Xavier's A-10 Quaterfinal game versus Dayton
Kevin McGuff, the winningest coach in Xavier history, posted a 214-73 (.746) overall record in nine seasons in charge of the Xavier University women's basketball program, which marks XU records for wins and winning percentage. McGuff led the Musketeers to a 29-3 record in 2010-11, his final season at the helm, their third-straight Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship and fourth Atlantic 10 Tournament title in five years. XU posted a spotless 14-0 mark in A-10 play for the second consecutive season and recorded its seventh straight 20-win season.
XU reached a program-best No. 4 national ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll during 2010-11 and finished the year ranked No. 5 in both. The Musketeers earned a school-record No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and defeated South Dakota State before falling to Louisville in the second round at Cintas Center.
The 2009-10 campaign was one to remember as XU posted a 30-4 overall record. The Musketeers put together a program record-tying 21-game winning streak, which included a spotless 14-0 record in A-10 play and the fifth A-10 Tournament title in school history. The team earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and McGuff guided XU to the Elite Eight for the second time in school history. Xavier ousted No. 14 East Tennessee State and No. 6 Vanderbilt at Cintas Center to advance to the Sweet 16.
The Musketeers then traveled to Sacramento and handled No. 7 Gonzaga, 74-56, in the Regional Semifinal before falling to No. 1 Stanford, 55-53, on a last-second shot.
The 2008-09 season saw XU reach as high as No. 13 in the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll on the strength of a 15-game winning streak. XU won road games at Indiana, LSU, Georgia and Mississippi State and finished first nationally in field goal percentage defense and third in the country in rebound margin. Xavier won the outright Atlantic 10 Championship for the first time in school history and earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2007-08 season included a 6-4 start before the team finished the season by winning 18 of its final 23 games. The non-conference season featured wins over No. 24 North Carolina State and No. 7 Georgia. The win over NC State, which was XU's second-straight over the Wolfpack, marked Xavier's first win over a ranked team since the 2001 NCAA Tournament victory over No. 3 Tennessee. Georgia was the highest-ranked opponent XU had ever beaten at home. Xavier finished the year 3-1 vs. ranked opponents.
XU earned the No. 3 seed in the 2008 A-10 Championship and dispatched of host Saint Joe's by a 74-52 count in the quarterfinal. XU then took out No. 13 George Washington, 63-59, in the semifinal before beating No. 1 seeded Temple 47-42 to successfully defend its A-10 Championship.
McGuff led his young team to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in his tenure but XU fell, 61-58, to No. 8 seeded Nebraska in the first round. XU boasted the youngest starting lineup (one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen) of all the teams that qualified for the NCAA's.
The 2006-07 squad sprinted out to a 12-4 mark in non-conference action and recorded wins over teams from the ACC (N.C. State), the Big 12 (Kansas), the BIG EAST (Cincinnati) and the SEC (Auburn, Florida). The Musketeers fought through a brutal stretch in the schedule and posted a 16-7 mark on February 2 only to win the last seven games of the regular season and all three Atlantic 10 Championship contests to secure XU's sixth NCAA Tournament berth.
The Kevin McGuff era for the Xavier women's basketball team began with an impressive turnaround. The rookie campaign for the Musketeer head coach ended with another 20-win season and NCAA Tournament for the Xavier women's basketball program.
Arriving in June 2002, McGuff inherited a Xavier team that was 12-19 the previous season. The McGuff-led Musketeers quickly showed this was a new team with a gritty win on the road at Pepperdine to open the season. XU used good defense and strong rebounding to earn the win over the Waves, and the wave of success for Xavier was just beginning.
The good start to the McGuff tenure continued as Xavier won seven of its first eight games. The success continued when the Atlantic 10 season began. Xavier went 11-5 in league play, placing second in the A-10 West before advancing to the conference tournament semifinals for the sixth year in a row. McGuff and the Musketeers were rewarded for their season with a berth to the NCAA Tournament, Xavier's fourth NCAA appearance in the last five years.
At the end of the year, McGuff had led Xavier to a 20-10 record. The turnaround from XU's 12-19 season the previous year was the largest among the 55 teams who had new coaches in 2002-03.
McGuff was one of just three first-year head coaches to lead a team to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. In addition, only seven teams advanced to the NCAA tournament with a coach who was in their first year at that school.
Success is something that has been a constant throughout McGuff's coaching career. He's been working the sidelines in some capacity at some level for 18 years, and each one of those seasons has resulted in a winning record.
McGuff came to Xavier after six years as an assistant at Notre Dame. The Irish were 160-39 (.804 winning percentage) in his tenure.
In addition to winning the 2001 NCAA Championship, Notre Dame advanced to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament in all six of his years there. The Irish reached the Sweet 16 four times during his tenure and the Final Four twice.
Prior to joining the staff at Notre Dame, McGuff spent three years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The RedHawks were 54-30 during his tenure while he coordinated all the scouting efforts, assisted with the internal and external operations of the program and served as director of the summer camp basketball program.
In 1992-93, McGuff served as an assistant girls basketball coach at his alma mater, Hamilton Badin High School, while the Rams went 25-1 and were district champions and the regional runner-up.
McGuff played basketball at St. Joseph's (Ind.) College from 1988-92. As team captain his senior year, he led the Pumas to the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II tournament. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration while majoring in marketing at St. Joseph's and earned a master's of science in sports studies from Miami (Ohio).