Girls Basketball

‘It’s all I’ve wanted to do’ — Tommy McGuire elevated to lead Madison girls basketball program

MADISON TWP. — Tommy McGuire has had the high school basketball coaching blueprint in his hand since he was a youngster.

He may not have known it then, but he does now.

“I was a different kid growing up,” McGuire said. “A lot of people when they’re growing up, they’re thinking, ‘I want to play at college. I want to play in the NBA.’”

Not McGuire.

“The professional dream wasn’t in my DNA,” he joked.

McGuire, instead, wanted to be a prep basketball coach — much like his father Brian McGuire and Mohawks legend Jeff Smith.  

“Growing up around those two, I was like, ‘I want to be a varsity coach at Madison High School.’ Ever since I was little, it’s all I’ve wanted to do.

“I was on their hip with everything. I wanted to soak in as much as I can so that when I did get an opportunity, I would be ready.”

That time is now.

McGuire was named the new girls basketball coach at Madison and approved by the school’s board of education Thursday night. He takes over for his father, who coached the girls team from 2000 to 2004 and again from 2015 through this past season before stepping away.

“As an integral part of the girls basketball success, it was an easy decision to elevate Tommy as the head coach,” Madison athletic director Matthew McKinney said. “We look forward to Tommy leading our girls program and continuing to put a product we are proud of on the floor each night.”

McGuire, a 2006 Madison graduate, did go on to play collegiately at Cincinnati Christian University prior to the school shutting down. He said the experience of competing past the high school level aided his coaching journey.

“Playing in college was able to give me a chance to take it back and use it during my coaching career,” McGuire said. “Even when I was playing, I looked at things as a coach and not so much as a point guard sometimes.”

McGuire joined the Madison varsity boys program as an assistant under Smith fresh out of college in 2010-2011. He then came on to assist his father during Brian’s second stint before switching back over to help the boys.

Tommy McGuire rejoined his father on the girls squad during the 2020-2021 season and assisted through this most recent season. Brian McGuire went on to win a Southwestern Buckeye League championship in each of his first two seasons back and was named the league’s Coach of the Year four times.

Since the 2020-2021 season, Madison accumulated a 57-36 record and won two SWBL titles.

“I grew up a coach’s kid and was a gym rat,” Tommy McGuire said. “I was always going to practices with dad and Coach Smith at the old fieldhouse. I always loved being a part of practices.

“Playing was great, but everything that’s involved with game film, the prep — I just soaked it up. I quickly grew accustomed to that old saying, ‘You fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.’ I always take that to heart, and it’s been with me ever since.

“To me, it doesn’t get better than Madison High School basketball.”

Tommy McGuire said he had opportunities to coach elsewhere when his father asked him to join the team prior to the 2020-2021 season.

“But Madison was home,” he recollected. “Anywhere else is just basketball. I told him I wanted to be able to have more responsibility to get the experience I need to be able to be a head coach one day.”

Brian allowed his son to work on some of the administrative duties like scheduling practice plans, leading drills and conditioning. Each year, the workload grew.

“That first year, dad got bronchitis, and we had an away game at Dixie,” Tommy recalled. “He looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to have to coach this team. I can’t talk at all.’”

Madison beat Dixie 46-28, and Tommy was told to coach the team again the next game.

“I think we ran off like three or four wins in a row,” Tommy noted. “Dad said, ‘Well, keep doing it.’”

Tommy called it “a three-headed monster” with the added help of assistant coach Robyn Meinking.

“It was always nice to have that type of mentorship around me with dad, Robyn and Tom Henry. As a young coach, to have that much experience around me, I could lean on those guys for anything. At any point, we were all ready to step up and do something.

“I’ve been very grateful to have them all around me to keep me on this path. It’s been very beneficial.”

Tommy said there wouldn’t be any reason to change the framework that’s been created for Madison over the last decade. He said the assistant coaching staff of Meinking and Henry will stay the same, while Brian will still have an impact from a distance.

“I want to continue those things and take them to the next level,” Tommy said. “There’s no point in reinventing the wheel.”

Tommy McGuire works at Butler Tech and resides in Madison Township with his wife Erika and their newborn son Grady — with their son Nash looking down on them.

“This is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid,” Tommy said. “To be able to continue the great things this program has done, it’s an honor.”

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