Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Updated April 2013
Mack McCarthy is the 14th Head Men’s Basketball Coach in UTC’s program history, but No. 1 in the record books. He amassed a 243-122 (.666) record including 135-47 (.742) in Southern Conference play. His Mocs squads went to five NCAA Tournaments including reaching the Sweet 16 in 1997.
McCarthy led eight regular season championship teams two of which came after the switch to divisions in the 1990s. Chattanooga won the SoCon Tourney five times (1988, 1993, 1994, 1995 & 1997). McCarthy and his charges were 150-31 (.829) at home, 81-10 (.890) in league play and had seven 20-win seasons.
He won SoCon Coach of the Year honors three times in 1986, 1992 and 1993. He coached 25 all-league performers with four SoCon Players of the Year (Keith Nelson – 1992, Tim Brooks – 1993, Chad Copeland – 1994 & Johnny Taylor – 1997). McCarthy also had 24 All-SoCon Tournament members with Benny Green (1988), Tim Brooks (1993) and Chad Copeland (1994) earning Most Outstanding Player.
NOTABLE PLAYERS (Chronological Order)
Lance Fulse (1985-88): Lance was a three-time All-SoCon selection who completed four years at UTC with 1,325 points and 747 rebounds. His point total was third at the time in DI era while he ranked No. 1 in rebounds. His 300 rebounds in 1987-88 was the school’s DI era record for 21 years (Nicchaeus Doaks, 302 in 2009).
Derrick Kirce (1990-91): Derrick was an All-SoCon pick both seasons after transferring from Georgia and for good reason. He set the school’s DI era mark for scoring average for a career at 19.5 points per game. He scored 1,113 points in his 57 games in Blue & Gold.
Keith Nelson (1991-92): Keith earned 1992 Southern Conference Player of the Year along with back-to-back all-league nods in 1991 and 1992. He tallied 1,047 points and 523 points and at the time, he was just the third Moc to accomplish that feat (Stanford Strickland 1153/528 & Lance Fulse). He holds the school record for rebounds per game in a career (9.2) and season (9.3, 1991-92). His 18.4 points per contest is second only to Kirce in the DI era.
Tim Brooks (1992-93): Tim was the 1993 SoCon Player of the Year as well as arguably the top point guard in school history. He set the school record for assists (414) which was later tied then topped by others with many more games played. He averaged 15.4 points, 6.6 assists and 2.5 steals per contest in his 63 appearances with the assists and steals setting career standards. He has the top two season totals in the DI era for assists with 209 in 1993 and 205 in 1992 as well as steals with 83 in 1992 and 72 in 1993. His 1992 averages of 6.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game have never been challenged. He won SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors in 1993 in UTC’s run to the title.
Chad Copeland (1993-94): Chad won the 1994 SoCon Player of the Year award marking three straight (Nelson, Brooks) for the Mocs. A transfer from Florida State, he played just 47 games in a Mocs uniform. He ranks third in the DI era in scoring average (17.7 ppg) and first in free throw percentage (88.9%). He became just the second UTC student-athlete to score 600 points tossing in 604 in 2004 averaging 20.1 points per contest. Copeland holds the single-season record for free throws made with 206 (1994) making 89.6 percent (206-230) that season which was a school record at the time. He won SoCon Tourney MOP honors in 1994 leading the Mocs to the NCAA Tournament. Chad holds the game record for free throw shooting making 17-17 against Alabama State on December 29, 1993 and the school mark for consecutive free throws made with 43 (12/29/93-1/6/94).
Brandon Born (1992-95): Brandon was two-time All-SoCon pick. He helped lead Chattanooga to three NCAA Tournaments in his four seasons. His squads went 91-32 (.740) during his career. He ended his career tied for second on the DI era scoring chart with Gerald Wilkins (1983-85) at 1,449. He is the career leader in three-point field goal percentage making 44.7 percent (159-356) and third in free throw percentage (84.8%). He became just the fourth Moc to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career grabbing 525 total. His 49.6 percent (67-135) from three-point range his junior year (1993-94) is the season standard. He and former teammate Gary Robb hold the game record for three-point percentage making all six attempts in separate games during their careers. Born’s 10 steals on November 26, 1994 against USC-Aiken is a school record.
Johnny Taylor (1996-97): Johnny is Chattanooga’s only first round NBA Draft pick in 1997 after notching SoCon Player of the Year and leading his Mocs to the NCAA Sweet 16. A Chattanooga native, he was All-SoCon both years scoring 1,070 points averaging 17.3 per game, fourth best in the DI era. He averaged 7.2 boards per game for his stellar two-year career which ranks seventh in school annals. He holds the record for free throws made in a game with 18 vs. Georgia Southern on January 27, 1997.
- Walk-on Wes Moore, a Chattanooga native, crafted a nice career over his seasons with the Mocs in a career that spanned the McCarthy and Dickerson years. He set the school record threes made in a game with nine against Wofford (11/15/97) and tied Brooks for the all-time assist lead with 414.
- Brooks and Gary Robb post the first triple-doubles in school history. Brooks got his at Western Carolina on February 1, 1992 with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists, a school record. Robb broke that record with 17 assists to go with 13 points and 10 boards in Dr Pepper Classic win over Southern on December 29, 1992.
- McCarthy’s Mocs beat the likes of Ole Miss (89-78, 12/17/85, Birmingham, Ala.), Mississippi State (66-51, 12/16/86), Texas (71-70, 12/21/87), No. 15 East Tennessee State (76-74, 1/21/91), at Mississippi State (85-73, 11/22/91), Auburn (87-75, 12/29/91), Ohio State (83-70, 12/19/95), No. 17 Georgia (73-70, 3/14/97) and No. 19 Illinois (75-63, 3/16/97).
- At the end of McCarthy’s tenure, players he recruited ranked No. 1 on the DI era records list in 13 career and 17 season categories.
- His teams hold the longest home win streak in school history win 27 straight in McKenzie Arena from 12/29/92-12/3/94. The streak was broken by No. 17 Michigan.
- The Mocs won 30 straight SoCon home games from 2/17/92-2/5/96.
- McCarthy’s 1992-93 team set the school record for scoring margin (+13.2) and assists (549). The 1996-97 squad set the standard for steals (288).
Mack and his wife Jean have a daughter, Katie. He worked as an assistant at Virginia Tech under Don DeVoe and at Auburn for Sonny Smith. At Auburn, he is credited with bringing in the talents of Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and Chuck Person. He also coached Terrell Owens on the hardwood at UTC prior to T.O.’s storied NFL career.