Freedom Of Speech

By Ian Guerin - October 09, 2007

CONCORD, N.C. -- Ritchie McKay admits his assent through the college basketball ranks was a boost to his ego.

From Portland State to Colorado State to Oregon State to New Mexico, McKay could sense he was wanted by bigger and better programs. Each time, the job felt right professionally.

During Tuesday's Big South basketball media day, the first-year Liberty head coach said for the umpteenth time all those jobs weren't always in line with his personal beliefs.

"I get a chance to openly share who I am and not feel handcuffed with what I say," said McKay, a devout Baptist now coaching at the private Baptist school in Lynchburg, Va.

"I was on the fast-track to the highest level."

McKay's "fast track" didn't work out the way he originally hoped when he got to New Mexico. He was fired after last season after five years with an 82-59 record (but only one NCAA tournament appearance).

At Liberty -- where previous coach Randy Dunton had one winning season in his five years -- McKay has a chance to redeem himself both professionally and personally.

"I'm 42," he said. "At this point in my life, I love this job."

Posted by Ian Guerin at 04:14 PM on October 09, 2007

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