MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BVM) – Nick McDevitt is in his fourth season as head coach of the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders men’s basketball team, and the world now sees his leadership on display in college basketball.
Through 20 games, McDevitt has led the Blue Raiders to a 14-6 record by showing his team the ways of winning. He made that vision clear the moment he stepped foot in Middle Tennessee. “Our goal year in and year out (will be) to win the regular season championship, to win the postseason championship,” McDevitt said in his press conference introduction. “That will not be easy. But that will be our goal.”
Before he took over the job at Middle Tennessee, McDevitt started his coaching career at UNC-Asheville. In 2001, former head coach Eddie Biedenbach appointed his former player to the coaching staff as an assistant coach. After 10 years as an assistant, McDevitt was elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2011-2012 season and took over the head coach job in 2013 upon Biedenbach’s resignation.
In 2016, McDevitt guided UNC-Asheville through the Big South Tournament to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament, his first as a head coach. In 2017, he earned Big South Conference and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 3 Coach of the Year honors. He also was a finalist for the Skip Professor Man of the Year award while leading his team to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
In his final season in Asheville, McDevitt led the Bulldogs to a 21-13 record to lock up the regular season title in the Big South Conference. In a five-year stint, he finished with a 98-66 record that included three consecutive 20-win campaigns in the last three seasons.
His dedication to the game landed him on MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro’s radar during a game against the Blue Raiders in the Alaska Shootout in November 2015.
“Kermit told me, they did a great job, and Nick’s a great coach, ” Massaro recalled during a discussion with former head coach Kermit Davis. “That’s a good win for us, Chris. That kind of stuck in my head.”
MTSU President Sidney McPhee had a similar first impression with McDevitt.
“I was simply blown away,” McPhee said in a press release.
As far as on court product, he emphasized a culture that includes a run-and-gun approach.
“We’re going to be a tough, gritty, defensive-minded basketball team,” McDevitt said in his introductory press conference. “On the other side, I like playing an up-tempo style of basketball. We’re going to get up and down the floor. … We will play as fast as we can without turning it over.”
The winning didn’t start out on a positive note. In his first season, the Blue Raiders went 11-21 and struggled the next year, going 8-23 while battling through a COVID-19 driven season. His third year saw a downward trend as he finished the season with a 5-18 record, leading to him being potentially on the hot season.
Now, with his team and vision set in stone, the Blue Raiders look to finish this season on a high note with a C-USA championship and a run at the NCAA Tournament.