McGraw named Head Coach at Slippery Rock University

After serving as an interim coach for the 2014-15 season, Bobby McGraw has been named the permanent head coach of the Slippery Rock University women’s basketball program, SRU Director of Athletics Paul Lueken announced Friday. McGraw was chosen after a national search.

“We are excited about the future of our women’s basketball program becoming a top tier contender in the PSAC under Bobby’s leadership as our head coach,” Lueken said. “He brings an energizing passion to the team and I know our student-athletes are pleased he will continue as their head coach.”

“I am incredibly blessed, honored and humbled to have President Norton and Mr. Lueken entrust me with the women’s basketball program,” McGraw said. “To know I have their support and confidence, along with the fact they have provided me with the security to continue to direct a new era of Rock women’s basketball is overwhelming.

“I could not be more grateful and they have my assurance I will continue to make Slippery Rock University proud of their women’s basketball program. We accomplished last year’s mission, the focus of our locker room is now winning a PSAC championship and returning to the national tournament.”

As interim head coach in 2014-15, McGraw led The Rock to an 11-16 record and a berth into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament. The 11 wins were tied for the most victories in a single-season for the program since 2005-06. 2014-15 also marked Slippery Rock’s first postseason appearance since the 2005-06 campaign.

Prior to last season Slippery Rock had won just 16 games combined over the previous four years. The team’s six-win improvement from 2013-14 represented the sixth highest year-to-year win improvement in program history.

Under McGraw, Slippery Rock recorded its highest rebounds per game average (40.3) since 1999-00. Additionally, Slippery Rock’s 17.6 turnovers per game were the fewest since 2005-06 while its +0.9 rebounding margin was the program’s best since 2006-07. SRU also shot 72.1 percent from the foul line, the best percentage by a Rock team dating back to 2002-03.

Before being named the interim head coach in May of 2014, McGraw was the lead assistant for the women’s team in 2013-14.

As an assistant, McGraw played and instrumental role in the development of forward D’Asia Chambers, who became the first Rock player since the 2004-05 season to earn first team All-PSAC honors. Under McGraw’s tutelage, Chambers had a breakout year by producing per game averages of 17.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. Chambers’ play continued to improve into her senior season when she was named the PSAC-West Defensive Player of the Year for her play in 2014-15.

McGraw began his tenure at Slippery Rock as a volunteer assistant with the men’s team during the 2012-13 season. Under head coach Kevin Reynolds, McGraw helped lead SRU to one of the best season’s in school history with a 23-9 overall record, an appearance in the PSAC title game and a first round win in the NCAA Tournament.

McGraw entered collegiate coaching as an assistant with the men’s team at La Roche College from 2010-12. He helped lead the Redhawks to their first NCAA Division III tournament berth and an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) championship in 2010-11, followed by an ECAC South Region final-four appearance and AMCC second-place finish in 2011-12. La Roche compiled a 44-12 record during McGraw’s two seasons on the coaching staff.

A 1990 graduate of Mars High School, McGraw played two seasons at Butler County Community College and one season at Clarion University. He was a member of BC3’s 1990-91 Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference and Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Conference championship team.

McGraw, a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps Military Police and the Pennsylvania State Police, received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Tiffin University in 2010. McGraw and his wife Melissa have a son, Reed Scott, and reside in Butler.

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