Veteran high school and college coach Wayne McClain is in his first season as the director of student-athlete development at Kansas State for head coach Bruce Weber.
McClain comes to K-State after spending the last 11 years coaching at Illinois, including the last nine under Weber. During his time, the Fighting Illini posted 235 wins on a .685 winning percentage and advanced to the NCAA Tournament nine times, including a trip to the national championship game in 2005. He was the longest tenured assistant coach in the Big Ten until he left the school this past year. He was the school's associate head coach the last three seasons.
In his position as director of student-athlete development, McClain will be responsible for a variety of areas, including basketball-related matters, handling special projects for the coaching staff and assisting with personnel development and recruiting. In addition, he will be involved in the Life Skills program and counseling student-athletes in career planning and goal setting.
McClain joined the staff at Illinois under then head coach Bill Self in 2002 after a distinguished 25-year coaching stint (1977-2001) at Manual High School in Peoria, Ill., including seven years (1995-2001) as head coach. The 1997 USA Today National High School Coach of the Year, McClain led the Rams to a 94-5 (.950) record and three consecutive AA state championships (1995, 1996 and 1997) in his first three years as head coach.
His 1997 squad, which was led by son Sergio McClain and future Illinois players Marcus Griffin and Frank Williams, was named the National High School Champions by USA Today after posting a 31-1 overall record. A three-time all-state selection, the younger McClain was named the 1997 Illinois Mr. Basketball and, in 2007, was elected as one of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys' Basketball Tournament. In addition to his three state titles, the elder McClain also guided the Rams to Sweet 16 appearances in the AA state tournament in 1998 and 1999 as well as Midstate Six Conference titles in each of his first five years. He was named the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
McClain coached a number of Manual players who went onto play collegiately, including four who played at Illinois. His son, Sergio, who helped the Illini to two Big Ten titles from 1998 to 2001, played on all four state championship squads (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997). Griffin, Williams and Jerry Hester also played for Illinois.
McClain began his high school coaching career at Manual in 1977, serving as an assistant to the legendary Dick Van Scyoc for 18 years until being named head coach in 1995. McClain helped the Rams to the first of four consecutive state titles in 1994. His teaching career included teaching at the sixth grade level, teaching high school physical education and as Manual High School Dean of Students.
McClain earned a master's degree in physical education from Illinois State University in 1982 while teaching at Manual. In addition to his son, he has a daughter, Brindeshie, a two-time Illinois graduate. He also has a grandson, Sergio, Jr.