By Mallory Tucker, Staff writer
Matt McMahon was hired to replace Steve Prohm as Murray State men’s basketball 16th head coach in program history. At a press conference addressing the future of the Racer program, Director of Athletics Allen Ward announced McMahon’s hiring at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Racer Room at the CFSB Center. Media, fans and the team were in attendance as McMahon was formally introduced.
“I had always envisioned Matt as the next guy up should we ever lose Prohm,” Ward said. “I told Matt when he left that I’d be calling him someday. I wasn’t going to let Mary and his kids move. His only option was to come back to Murray.”
McMahon served as an assistant coach at Murray State under Steve Prohm for four years. During this time, he worked particularly with the back court and the team’s recruitment efforts. McMahon left Murray State in late May to accept an assistant coaching position at Louisiana Tech, but Murray State was still on his mind.
“It happened so fast,” McMahon said. “This is the place that I’ve always dreamed of being the head coach. It’s one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball.”
Before Murray State, McMahon played college ball at Appalachian State. He started two years as part of teams that won three Southern Conference North Division Championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in the 1999-00 season. He continued his basketball career at Appalachian State on the coaching staff before joining the University of Tennessee’s staff in 2001-02 as an administrative graduate assistant. He then returned to Appalachian State to serve as an assistant coach on their staff for nine more years before working under Buzz Peterson at UNC-Wilmington during the 2010-11 season.
McMahon is from Oak Ridge, Tenn., and his wife, Mary, played basketball at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. The couple has two daughters, Maris and Mabry, and a son, Mason.
As for the future of the program, McMahon plans to continue the up-tempo style of play that Prohm spearheaded during his years at Murray State. At the time of the press conference, McMahon hadn’t sat down with the incoming recruits, but he planned to do so later that evening.
“The blueprint for our success will remain the same,” McMahon said. “This program has always been about the players, and it will continue to be that way. We’re going to build on the rich tradition that is Murray State basketball.”
In a time of great changes, McMahon thanked the community of Racer Nation.
“Players, coaches have come and gone here,” McMahon said. “There’s one constant. The people.”