by Lacie Smith ’06

Dave Madeira and Scott McClary ’94 had always been on the same bench; drawing up plays together and brainstorming ideas on how to stop opposing teams. However, in the final of the 2004 Scotty Wood Tournament, the coaches occupied different sides of the court. Frequent passes of friendly glances and periodic smiles were all that were being exchanged between the coaches this time around.

Maybe they did a great job of covering it up? Or maybe the coaches’ instinctive competitiveness kicked in? Either way, from the blowing of the first whistle until the sounding of the last buzzer, it was difficult to notice almost 15 years of friendship, memories and emotions that accompanied the men in their quest for the championship trophy.

Originally from Cecilton, Md., Scott McClary has roots that are embedded deep in Muhlenberg soil. An elbow injury that ended his basketball playing career did not stop him from becoming involved in the Mules’ program. Unable to play, he searched for an alternative option that would allow him to be a part of the team.

“Scott approached me after his freshman year and wanted to know if he could help coach,” explained Madeira, now in his 18th season as Muhlenberg’s head coach. “He seemed very interested in learning the ropes of coaching college basketball and I appreciated that.”

McClary knew the tradition of winning that accompanied Muhlenberg men’s basketball prior to approaching Madeira. “I knew that the men had a solid program with an excellent coach. I saw my injury as an opportunity to learn basketball hands-on and use that knowledge to coach later on down the road,” commented McClary.

Madeira welcomed McClary into the coaching world with open arms. He was slowly broken into the program and as time passed he gradually gained more authority and was given greater responsibilities, including head junior varsity coach as a senior.

McClary began coaching as a sophomore and gaining respect from the upperclassmen was not an easy task. “Scott broke into coaching his peers slowly, but by the time he was a senior he and the players had a mutual respect for one another. He was a friend off the court and a coach on the court,” remarked Madeira. McClary quickly learned how to balance his friendships and coaching duties simultaneously; he even roomed with the captain of the squad their senior year.

Three years of student coaching came and went, but McClary wasn’t about to close the chapter of his Muhlenberg career just yet. Following graduation, he was hired as an assistant coach and given the opportunity to further his coaching knowledge.

“I pretty much did the same things as a student coach and an assistant coach,” said McClary. “As an assistant I had much more time to devote to the program. I became more involved in the recruiting process and had more time to spend in the offseason with the players.”

Under Madeira, McClary learned the intangibles of coaching. “Basketball is so much more than the two hours of practice a day and games. That ‘stuff’ is only 10 percent of what you do,” remarked McClary. Madeira taught McClary the importance of work ethic, detail and responsibility.

“There is no question, I still apply tons of the things Coach Madeira taught me,” McClary added. “I still run some of the plays we ran at Muhlenberg and even more important than that, I have taken so much from his personality. Coach would give up a win to teach a lesson; always with the kids being his primary interest. He cares about his players tremendous amounts and those are the qualities that stay with me the most.”

Ever so humble, Madeira takes no credit for McClary’s success. “I showed him the way through knowledge, the responsibility of planning practices and games and instilled confidence in him, but he is the one who made something out of himself,” said Madeira.


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