Walter McCarty introduced as Purple Aces head men’s basketball coach


McCarty makes his return to hometown

Walter McCarty was officially introduced as the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Evansville in a celebration on Friday evening inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse.

“I am excited about the opportunity to not only be a head coach, but to come back home and be  around people who have supported me my whole life,” McCarty said.  “Growing up here in Evansville, they have always had passionate basketball fans and the University of Evansville has been a big part of that.  It has had a large impact on all of our lives as kids growing up and playing basketball in this state.”

In an exciting event that was open to the public, McCarty and UE Director of Athletics Mark Spencer, addressed the crowd as fans packed into the venue to meet the Evansville native.  McCarty agreed to terms to lead the Purple Aces program on Thursday morning.

“I am happy to be here and add to the foundation of this wonderful program and bring our fans back,’’ McCarty added.  “We have a big vision and I am looking forward to competing at a high level.  We want to help these guys become great young men and to be successful on and off the court.”

McCarty joins the UE program after serving as the assistant coach of the Boston Celtics since 2013.  He worked under head coach Brad Stevens in Boston and the staff spearheaded an unbelievable turnaround.  In just four seasons, the Celtics more than doubled their win total from 25 games in 2013-14 to 53 wins in 2016-17 along with an Atlantic Division Title.  The team also advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017 for the first time in five years.

Boston is on pace for another top two finish in the conference this season along with another deep playoff run.  McCarty began his tenure with the Celtics in 2012 as a Community Relations Consultant.  He spent last summer as the head coached of the Celtics summer league team in Las Vegas.

He spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers.  Working with head coach Jim O’Brien, McCarty helped the Pacers clinch their first playoff berth in five seasons.

His coaching career began in 2007 when he joined the staff of Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville.  In three seasons on the Cardinals staff, he helped the program 78 wins, three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Elite Eight berths.

The 19th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, McCarty also spent time playing for the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.  Over his 10-year NBA career, McCarty finished with 3,056 points, 1,554 rebounds and 670 assists.  His top season came in 1997-98 as he burst onto the scene with the Celtics.

In just his second professional season and first in Boston, McCarty played in all 82 games, making 64 starts, while averaging 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on his way to becoming a fan favorite.  He spent close to eight seasons with the Celtics playing for Pitino and O’Brien in that time.

One of the most popular player in Kentucky Wildcat history, McCarty helped UK to a National Championship in 1996.  Averaging 11.3 points per game, McCarty and his team made an impressive run through the NCAA Tournament, defeating Syracuse in the championship game by a final of 76-67.  A team that was known as “The Untouchables”, the 1995-96 squad was 34-2 and featured nine players that went on to enjoy a career in the NBA.

A native of Evansville, McCarty was a standout at Harrison High School.  He is the only player in school history to be named a Parade All-American (1992).  He was the 1992 Evansville Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Indiana All-Star team.  McCarty helped the Warriors to the city and conference title along with its first basketball sectional championship in school history.

McCarty and his wife Erin have two daughters – Gabrielle and Sasha.

What they’re saying about Coach McCarty:

“Walter is a really good basketball coach that will work hard to help his players maximize their student-athlete experience, while pursuing excellence on the court.  I know how much it means to him to have a chance to lead this program in his hometown.  We wish Walter, his family and the University of Evansville the very best of luck.”

– Brad Stevens – Head Coach – Boston Celtics

“Evansville hired a winner in Walter.  A classy, hardworking, basketball thoroughbred and an intelligent gentleman.  He has the experience to lead the type of program the tradition of Evansville expects and deserves.”

– Jim O’Brien – Head Coach – Boston Celtics (2001-04), Indiana Pacers (2007-11)

“Walter is going to bring fun and excitement to this program.  I am happy the University of Evansville is giving Walter the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming their head coach.  They are getting a high-character, passionate individual that loves the game.  I know my brother will do well.”

– Tony Delk – Teammate at the University of Kentucky, 10-year NBA player

“I could not be more thrilled with the amount of interest we had in our head coaching position, but it became very evident that Walter McCarty was 100% the right man for the job. His personality, experience and infectious energy really set him apart.  Nobody would have been able to sell Evansville to recruits like Walter McCarty.”

– Mark Spencer – University of Evansville Director of Athletics

“This is an exciting time for the University of Evansville.  We are pleased to welcome Walter McCarty to the Purple Aces family.  Throughout the interview process, Walter stood out as the candidate that fit best at our university and our goals.  His energy and vision were unparalleled.”

– Dr. Tom Kazee – University of Evansville President