Chattanooga's McCall wants to build on Wade's momentum
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) New Chattanooga coach Matt McCall says he wants to build on the momentum generated by Will Wade in his two seasons on the job.
McCall was introduced Monday as the replacement for Wade, who went 40-25 at Chattanooga before leaving last week for VCU. McCall spent the last four seasons as an assistant on Billy Donovan's staff at Florida.
''Obviously I think the previous staff did a tremendous job recruiting and developing these guys,'' McCall said. ''It's my job now to take that to another level, and we will be committed to that.''
Wade succeeded at Chattanooga with an up-tempo approach he referred to as ''chaos.'' McCall said he also intended to utilize a fast-paced style.
''My philosophy is simple,'' McCall said. ''I want to be aggressive, I want to be disruptive and I want to be disciplined on both ends of the floor. It will be a style of play that fans are going to enjoy to watch and that players are going to enjoy playing.
''We're going to play fast. We're going to play with great freedom, but with that freedom comes a certain level of responsibility. I can promise you it's going to be an exciting brand of basketball that everyone's going to enjoy.''
This represents the second straight time Chattanooga has opted for youth in a coaching search. Wade was 30 when he took over Chattanooga's program two years ago. McCall is 33 years old.
''Age does not dictate maturity,'' Chattanooga athletic director David Blackburn said. ''Matt is very mature both in his craft, his ability schematically and all the things you need in a basketball coach.''
McCall spent three seasons as an assistant at Florida Atlantic before working at Florida the last four seasons. McCall, a former student manager at Florida, worked as the Gators' director of basketball operations from 2006-08.
Blackburn noted the endorsement McCall received from Donovan during the hiring process.
''(Donovan) could not stop saying enough great things about what Matt had done and what Matt can do and will do,'' Blackburn said.
McCall said he would try to carry on what he learned from Donovan during his time at Florida.
''I think the biggest lesson I've learned from coach Donovan - and he's won a lot of championships and he's cut down a lot of nets - is the level of humility at which he does his job,'' McCall said. ''At no point in time has the University of Florida ever been about Billy Donovan. And I can promise you that in no point in time will UTC ever be about me. It'll be about these players and this university.''