Please note: The interview with Walter McCarty was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.
My job as Head Coach entails developing strategies and training regimens, practice plans and game scheduling. I’m committed to the personal development of each player on and off the court. Making sure my players are succeeding in the class room and on course to earn their degree. I also had fundraising responsibilities to help support the program.
We practice at 7am, so I was in the office at 5:30am everyday prepping for practice. We practice for 1.5 to 2 hrs a day. Between 9am and 2pm, we have individual instruction with 3 or 4 four guys at a time. This is where we work on our individual game and get extra shooting in for 40 minutes. We would do this 3 days a week. From 2pm on it was about getting better as a coach. Watching practice film or game film so we can teach and correct the team to be better. We also take this time to prepare for our opponents.
I never thought about being a coach when I played. I was interested in doing television or game commentating. After doing a few games, I was offered a contract to a sports network. While negotiating the contract, I received a call asking if I would like to join the Boston Celtics assistant coaching staff. I accepted after a few days and the rest is history.
Most likely my alma mater, University of Kentucky.
It was one of the most amazing feeling ever. I was so proud of my guys for their effort and their ability to stay engaged and focused with the game plan. We really were connected.
Winning a National Championship in 1996.
Being Drafted into the NBA.
Beating No. 1 Kentucky being a 25+ underdog this season as head coach.
Study the game. Make as many connections as you can and grow those relationships. Ask questions any chance you get if you are fortunate to be around someone who can help you or give advice about opportunities in the business.
The relationships with the players and game planning.
As a huge basketball fan, I feel very grateful to have gotten to speak to Walter McCarty. He has had the opportunity to compete with many of the all time greats like Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and the late Kobe Bryant on the court, and has also had the opportunity to coach big names like Rajan Rondo and Jayson Tatum. He became a hometown hero when he returned to Evansville, Indiana as head coach of their men’s basketball program where he has already made history and put his team back on the map with their major upset over Kentucky. I hope his story inspires more players at all levels to remember where they came from and give back to the communities that raised them!