Ever since he took the job in 2014, UIC head coach Steve McClain has returned to the word “process.” And after the Flames gutted their way through third and fourth consecutive losing seasons, the process has begun to pay off.
McClain took over a 10-win program, and things had to get worse before they got better. The Flames went 5-25 in his first year and were among Division I’s worst teams by any metric. They improved to 17-19 in 2016-17 and earned a postseason bid. This year, they’ve taken another leap to finish the regular season 17-14 and 12-6 in the Horizon League, good for third place.
“Even though we had made progress a year ago, we were still trying to take that jump,” McClain says. “I think this year we took that next step.”
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