LSU Gold

Matt McMahon Season 2023-24

LSU
Matt McMahon
Title
Head Coach
Hometown
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Alma Mater
Appalachian State (2000)
Instagram
Twitter

LSU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt McMahon has five simple core values that define him and his basketball program at LSU:

Hard work, unselfishness, toughness, accountability and joy.

Those were some of the first words he said when he stepped to the podium for the first time as the 25th LSU men’s basketball head coach on March 22, 2022.

And even though the first season proved difficult as Coach McMahon and staff had to rebuild a roster completely from scratch in less than 45 days, the characteristics of a Matt McMahon program were there for people to clearly see.

The team learned and played under those five principles and laid a foundation for the LSU Basketball program to move forward on in 2023-24.

Now as the LSU Basketball program begins its second season, Coach McMahon under the cornerstone of those core values has welcomed in an older, more experienced group of players who not only understand the fundamentals of the game, but also the culture of the environment with many having lived and played in around the Baton Rouge/LSU area.

LSU, Coach McMahon and staff laid a new foundation a year ago and now has many of the tools needed to successfully build on that foundation.

The culture and success were on display during the seven years at Murray State University where Coach McMahon led the Racers to a record of 154-67, a .697 winning percentage. He led Murray State to 93 OVC regular-season wins, winning 75 percent of league games.

He has also coached multiple all-Americans and all-league players such as Ja Morant who was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2020.

The Racers won regular season league titles in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, 2019 and 2022 (the 2020 appearance was canceled by the pandemic).

Since the native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, became the third-youngest rookie among D1 coaches in 2015, McMahon has continued a steady move forward with a reputation for developing talent both as an assistant and head coach. He has become known nationally as an excellent recruiter and he is among the best in the nation in the area of player development and game planning.

In his final season at Murray State in 2021-22, McMahon coached OVC Player of the Year KJ Williams and two other recipients of first-team honors (Tevin Brown, Justice Hill). In addition, McMahon was named the league’s Coach of the Year.

Williams and his successfully play translated to the Southeastern Conference where he earned All-SEC honors in a super senior year when he became at the time in January 2023 the 123rd player in Division I college basketball to amass 2,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds. He also earned more than 100 career wins in his five years of play. Through it all he continued to improve under the tutelage of Coach McMahon through his days at Murray and LSU.

McMahon’s Racers, in 2021-22, were just the sixth team in league history to go undefeated and the first to do it in an 18-game conference schedule. Murray State then won the two league tournament games to advance to the NCAA Tournament where, as a No. 7 seed, the Racers defeated San Francisco to advance to the round of 32.

The 2021-22 team was one of seven teams to win 30 or more games that season and led the nation in win percentage at 91.2 percent (31-3). The Racers were ranked No. 20 in the final AP poll and No. 22 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll.

McMahon was the first MSU coach to have three seasons of 25 or more wins and was one of just three Murray State coaches to have four 20-win seasons.

Although the 2019-20 season was called early because of the pandemic, Coach McMahon led the Racers to three-straight OVC regular season championships (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20) and two consecutive OVC Tournament titles (2017-18, 2018-19).

Coach McMahon’s commitment to defense showed in those years as the Racers ranked as the league leader twice in defensive field goal percentage and each of the three seasons the team led the league in defending the 3-point shot.

The 2018-19 team won 28 games and made its mark in the NCAA Tournament when the 12th-seeded Racers won their fourth all-time tourney game by defeating No. 5 seed Marquette. That season is when Morant stepped to the forefront at Murray State after the departure of stars Jonathan Stark and Terrell Miller.

He was named the OVC POY, leading Division I in assists and earning first-team all-America honors from the USBWA. In the NCAA Tournament win over Marquette, Morant posted a triple double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists as he became the eighth player to record a triple double in the tournament.

He was drafted second overall in the 2019 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

In 2017-18, McMahon’s team won 26 games and the OVC regular season and tournament championship, sending the Racers to what was at that time the school’s 16th NCAA Tournament.

Prior to being named head coach, he was a key part of Coach Steve Prohm’s staff as assistant at Murray State as the Racers won a pair of Ohio Valley Conference championships, a CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship and an appearance in the NIT. He was part of a staff that won 104 games from 2011-15.

In 2014-15, MSU became the first team in school history to go undefeated in the OVC at 16-0 and set a league record with a 25-game win streak that was second best in the nation. Three seasons earlier, McMahon was named to the list of best assistant coaches by FoxSports.com and CollegeInsider.com.

McMahon coached Lute Olson Player of the Year and AP Honorable Mention All-American Cameron Payne who ranked 13th in the nation in scoring with an average of 20.2 points per game and 6.0 assists. Payne was the 14th pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In his first season as an assistant at Murray State, the team was 31-2 and earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Racers won a game in the NCAAs and were the final undefeated team in the nation that year with 23 consecutive wins to start the season.

PRIOR TO MURRAY STATE

Coach McMahon has had success in college basketball since his days as a player at Appalachian State.

Known as an excellent shooter and tough competitor, he played on three Southern Conference regular season title teams in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The Mountaineers won the SoCon Tournament in 2000 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

He played in 90 career games under coach Buzz Peterson and made 124 three-pointers, graduating in 2000 with a bachelor’s in marketing.

His coaching career began immediately at Appalachian State as a student assistant under Houston Fancher in 2000-01. He would rejoin Peterson’s staff as a student coach at Tennessee before returning to ASU in 2002, where he stayed until the end of the 2009-10 season. A year at UNC Wilmington (2010-11) as assistant coach set the stage for his journey to Murray State, starting first as an assistant in the 2011-12 season and then as head coach prior to the 2015-16 season.

Like his time at Murray State, McMahon coached some outstanding talent in the early stages of his coaching career, including Southern Conference POY Donald Sims as well as all-league picks Jeremy Clayton and D.J. Thompson.

At UNCW, he recruited Adam Smith, a Parade All-America Second-Team selection.

Coach McMahon and his wife Mary, a former standout for the Furman women’s basketball team, have three children – Maris, Mason and Mabry.

The McMahon File

Season at LSU: Second (in 2023-24)
Birthdate: April 26, 1978
Wife: Mary
Children: Maris, Mason, Mabry
Hometown: Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Education: Appalachian State, 2000

College Coaching Experience
2000-01 – Student Assistant, Appalachian State
2001-02 – Student Assistant, Tennessee
2002-10 – Assistant Coach, Appalachian State
2010-11 – Assistant Coach, UNC Wilmington
2011-15 – Assistant Coach, Murray State
2015-22 – Head Coach, Murray State
March 22, 2022 – Head Coach, LSU

Matt McMahon’s Head Coaching Record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
2015-16 Murray State 17–14 10–6 T-1st (West)
2016-17 Murray State 16–17 8–8 3rd (West)
2017-18 Murray State 26–6 16–2 1st NCAA First Round
2018-19 Murray State 28–5 16–2 T-1st NCAA Second Round
2019-20 Murray State 23–9 15–3 T-1st Postseason canceled
2020-21 Murray State 13–13 10–10 T-5th
2021-22 Murray State 31–3 18–0 1st NCAA Second Round
Murray State Totals (7 Seasons) 154–67 (.697) 93–31 (.750)
2022-23 LSU 14-19 2-16 14th
2023-24 LSU
LSU Totals (1 Season) 14-19 (.424) 2-16 (.111)
Career Totals (8 Seasons) 168-86 (.661) 95-47 (.669)