McGuire to Lead Boys Basketball at Parkway South-Article
by Warren Mayes
June 21, 2020
When the opportunity came for Phil McGuire to become the new boys basketball coach at Parkway South, he took it.
McGuire will become the school’s fifth boys basketball coach in history. He replaces Matt Roach, who is moving up to become the school’s new athletic director. Pat Burns, the athletic director, will be the assigner for officials next school year at Parkway South.
“To say I am excited is an understatement,” McGuire said. “There is only one place I wanted to be the head coach. I still feel as if I’m on Cloud 9 and still wonder if it is real sometimes. I am very pumped and wish we could start practice now. I can’t emphasize enough how fortunate I am to be a part of the Parkway South basketball program and family.
“I am honored to be the fifth head coach in school history and just so excited and ready to go. I think my wife and children are sick of me talking about basketball. [I] can’t wait for me to be able to get on the court again.”
McGuire, a John F. Kennedy graduate, has taught physical education and health in the Parkway School District for more than 20 years. He has taught at Southwest Middle, Sorrento Springs Elementary and will move to Oak Brook Elementary in the coming school year.
McGuire, 45, has coached both football and basketball at Parkway South. He was a varsity assistant football coach for two years and completed his 18th year of coaching on the boys basketball staff this past March as an assistant coach on the varsity. He has been an assistant varsity coach for the past three seasons where he was the defensive coach for Roach.
McGuire installed a new defense last season that helped the Patriots to a top five finish for points allowed in school history.
Before being a varsity assistant, he was the freshmen B team coach for two years then the head freshmen and junior varsity coaches for 14 seasons. His totals as a coach at Parkway South are 208-141 for a .596 winning percentage.
“I was hired by my former coach Tom Sucher [who coached McGuire at JFK], and I was happy to be involved,” McGuire said. “I quickly realized I had much to learn and thought I just want to do what I can to help the freshman team be as successful as possible. As I have climbed levels within the program, I have always said that Parkway South is the only place I want to coach. I want to help this program as best I can.
“I had no desire to be head coach until three years ago when Matt Roach was named head coach, and when he informed me he was our new AD, the head coaching bug bit me and I really wanted this job.”
Working under Roach and Matt Stevens, who preceded Roach, helped McGuire grow as a coach, he said.
“Both Mitch and Matt have taught me how to prepare for an opponent, how to put your players in the best position to help them reach their potential, and how to handle yourself during a game and practice,” McGuire said. “Both bring an incredible amount of energy and passion, a strong desire for their teams to reach their potential, and the will to win, which starts in Day 1 of practice, not just game time. I am very fortunate to consider both of these great coaches good friends.
Helping each athlete reach his potential is McGuire’s main objective.
“I want each player to bring the best versions of himself to each practice and game,” McGuire said. “I want the coaches to do so as well. Basketball is a fun game, run up and down the court, make shots and go play defense. My philosophy is play smart, play hard, play together and have fun. If we can accomplish those ideas each day in practice and during the games, we will put ourselves in great shape to be successful.
McGuire knows his players, having been working with them in the past. Of course, with the pandemic, being able to meet with the boys in person was not possible.
“We had a Google meet,” McGuire said. “Having been around these young men for a few seasons now, nothing changed. They were all business, happy for me, but ready to get to work. They are a great group of young men, and I feel confident our seniors will be great leaders and players. Our juniors are ready to roll as well.
“The program is in great shape. We have a strong feeder program led by Mike Shanfeld and our parent-volunteer coaches,” McGuire said. “Our freshman team has great coaches [Tom Howren and John Heath] and they do an incredible job of helping the players develop as people and athletes. The transition from eighth grade to ninth grade can be incredibly tough. Justin Moulder on the JV level is an incredible coach who holds a high bar for his team each day and always gets the best out of them.
“We also have a great relationship with our alumni. It is always great when they come to games or show up and say ‘hi’ at a practice. Former head coach Jim Radkte attends several games a year, and that is another way for our guys to stay connected to the program’s history.”
McGuire said Howren is stepping aside this season to spend more time with his young and growing family.
McGuire is anxious to get started when he can do so safely.
“My goals are for the players to reach their potential, and then some — to be competitive, to be prepared, to have fun and to win,” McGuire said. “I want to continue to help each player develop into a great man. I want the best for the players as people, and want to continue the strong character development that our program has emphasized for many years.
“When you play Parkway South, I want others to be ready for a tough, aggressive team who will be relentless in pursuit of winning.”