Mike McCarthy is moving on from the Mount. After four great seasons there as head coach of the varsity girls basketball program, McCarthy accepted a position on Nick O’Neil’s staff at Cardinal O’Hara high-school in Tonawanda.
Mount St. Mary’s unceremoniously dismissed McCarthy last April. The man that guided them to their first Monsignor Martin Title and State championship.
No reason for the dismissal was ever given. McCarthy had a number of former players and parents speak out on his behalf but the school held their position. Two weeks ago the Mount named a replacement in Fran Snyder.
McCarthy recently weighed his options and decided that O’Hara was the perfect landing spot.
“It wasn’t just me they wanted, it’s my daughter too” McCarthy said on Monday. McCarthy’s daughter will be a freshman in the Fall. “I had to worry about not just the right fit for me as a coach but for my daughter as well. O’Hara was gracious from the beginning. They not only made me feel wanted but knowing they wanted my family was a big factor for me as well.”
O’Neil and McCarthy aren’t strangers, they know each other well as they coach an AAU girls team together. “This is Nick’s team. We get along great, I’m excited to get to work with him and his staff and keep their momentum going” McCarthy said.
O’Hara is coming off one of it’s finest seasons yet. Adding McCarthy to the staff could be a game changer for the program.
“Mike is a forward thinker, we look at basketball the same. I know what he wants to do and he knows what I want to do” Nick O’Neil said. “I’ve known Mike since he came into the league (MMAA) and I really liked what he was doing with that program.”
McCarthy fielded multiple offers and spoke to a number of schools about head coaching positions for both boys and girls, but the O’Hara job is one that stuck out from the beginning. “From the principal, athletic-director, Nick and everyone involved from O’Hara just really made it known to me that they wanted to bring us in. They were very consistent and all of that was important to me. I was blind sided in April, I never saw that coming. This helps me realize that I am a good coach and I am wanted. I wish St. Mary’s the best, the players, they’re still my girls” McCarthy said.
McCarthy will hold his first basketball clinic at O’Hara July 25-27 and is open to girls entering grades 4-9.