TriCounty For Manual High School basketball coach Wayne McClain it is three-for-three in Tri-County Male Coach of the Year honors.
In an unprecedented success story, the long-time former Manual assistant coach has been head coach for three seasons and has won three state championships!
Each of the first two won him Tri-County honors and so has the third, the first time anyone has been honored three years in succession.
The 1996-97 season saw Manual go 31-1 to raise McClain's three-year record to an amazing 94-4 (he was 32-2 and 31-1 in his first two seasons). The Rams were 15-1 against ranked teams from eight states.
In the state finals Manual whipped Chicago Young 51-46 in the first round, staged a brilliant rally to down Harvey Thornton 65-62 in the semi-finals and wound up the second state finals played in Peoria with a 47-43 win over Aurora West.
Manual was named the No. 1 team in the nation.
For Manual High School basketball coach Wayne McClain it is three-for-three in Tri-County Male Coach of the Year honors.
A 1972 graduate of Peoria Manual High School and 1977 Bradley University graduate, McClain enjoyed a nationally-recognized basketball coaching career at both the prep and collegiate levels. Following 18 seasons as an assistant for Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Famer Dick Van Scyoc, culminating with the 1994 IHSA AA state championship, McClain succeeded Van Scyoc for the next seven seasons and led the Rams to the final three state titles in 1995, 1996 and 1997 during their unprecedented state championship four-peat. The 1997 USA Today National High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year, McClain’s Rams were USA Today’s No. 1 ranked boys basketball team in the nation in 1996-97. The three-time (1995-96-97) Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year, McClain led Manual to five straight Mid-State Conference championships from 1995 through 1999 and his teams advanced to the at least the Sweet 16 in the IHSA AA state tournament in each of his first five years. McClain joined the University of Illinois coaching staff in 2001 and helped the Illini to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the 2005 national championship game in St. Louis. Following one year as the director of student-athlete development for men’s basketball at Kansas State, McClain returned to high school basketball as the head coach at Champaign Central in 2013. He guided the Maroons to a 13-win improvement in his lone season on the bench before his untimely death in 2014.