What is Samford Thinking Hiring Bucky McMillan As Head Men’s Basketball Coach?

Marky Billson
5 min readApr 9, 2020

Hiring a high school coach to lead your college team is like promoting a sergeant directly to general.

The Samford Bulldogs have made a mistake hiring Bucky McMillan as their head men’s basketball coach.

Oh, sure, there needed to be a coaching change. The Bulldogs weren’t going anywhere under Scott Padgett, whose tenure seemed to be highlighted by the number of players who transferred out of the program and the fact he once emphasized how big and strong he was to an official during a game at ETSU with the famous line “You stepping on me?”

But hiring high school coaches directly without them serving as an apprenticeship as an assistant in college is risky.

For the Southern Conference to grow as a basketball conference, bottom feeder programs like Samford must improve. Is Bucky McMillan ready for the task?

What’s more, it’s townie. It’s thinking that high school basketball is equal to Division I college basketball.

And it’s not.

Granted, McMillan’s hire has received attention, which is something Samford doesn’t get a lot of. Located in Birmingham, in the shadow of Alabama, Auburn, and UAB, Samford rarely gets any media coverage.

Once, as a sports talk show host, I wanted to have a guest on who knew something about the Bulldogs prior to a game with Southern Conference rival ETSU.