Legendary Coach Joins UGF Men’s Basketball Staff - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Legendary Coach Joins UGF Men’s Basketball Staff

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The University of Great Falls has announced the addition of Montana prep coaching legend Mike McLean to the men's basketball program.

McLean joins first-year head coach Anthony Owens and first-year assistant coach Kevin Smith for the 2014-15 season.

“I'm very excited to bring in someone with strong ties to the community,” Owens said. “I look forward to working with Mike and utilizing his vast knowledge of the game and the area.”

McLean is a highly accomplished basketball coach at the high school level and has built winners at every stop.

He won state titles as head coach of the Chester (Mont.) High Coyotes in 1991 and 1992.

He went on to coach C.M. Russell (Great Falls, Mont.) High to state titles in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.

“Mike has been a mentor of mine since my time at CMR, and I'm excited to bring him into the UGF family,” women's basketball coach Bill Himmelberg said. “He has a wealth of knowledge and is a tremendous resource for the men's basketball program, the entire athletic department and the Great Falls community.”

This is McLean's first foray into the college ranks.

“I think (Anthony) is a good guy for what he's doing,” McLean said. “I think he's making the kids do the right things and he's making them toe the line. These kids need structure in their lives and he's giving it to them.”

After retiring from coaching CMR, McLean returned to the sidelines as an assistant for the now-defunct Great Falls Explorers of the Continental Basketball Association.

He later returned to CMR as an assistant under John Cislo from 2010-2014. McLean was able to coach his son, Jayse, who graduated this spring and is attending North Dakota State University on a baseball scholarship.

McLean is a former college shortstop for the Minot (N.D.) State Beavers. He is a longtime math teacher at CMR. McLean's wife, Josy, is also a longtime teacher at CMR.

“I am excited for the new adventure,” McLean said. “It's going to be fun.”

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