The man, the myth, the McClurg

Joseph Heisler, Sports editor

Coach Tim McClurg may be a first-year head basketball coach, but he is no stranger to WMHS. McClurg has been around the school for the past decade, whether as a student or educator. McClurg was a 2011 graduate of West Milford High School. While attending the high school, McClurg played football and basketball. During his playing days in basketball, he was coached by his prediscor, John Finke.
While at school, McClurg had many memorable moments, both in and out of sports. When asked about memories that stuck out to him, he responded by saying “Basketball related was my junior year. We went on a run in the state playoffs knocking off two higher seeds in Tenafly and Sparta on the road. Or my Senior year when we beat Eastside and Kennedy in the same season with Kennedy being on the road in overtime.”
After graduating high school, McClurg went onto school at Louisiana Tech to study civil engineering. He finished school at William Patterson with a dual degree in chemistry and secondary education.
While he was a sophomore in college, McClurg started as a volunteer basketball coach. When asked what brought him back to WMHS he said, “The main reason I wanted to come back was students don’t realize what they have in high school until they leave. I wanted to come back to have an impact in a student’s life the same way all of my former teachers and coaches had in mine at WMHS.”
McClurg rose through the ranks of the coaching staff, going from volunteer coach to Assistant freshman coach, then to JV coach until a year ago. Last year, after one the best seasons in a decade, coach Finke stepped down, ending his career on a high note. Coach McClurg was named head coach soon after for this season.
In his first season serving as head coach, despite not having the most successful season, McClurg still led the team to plenty of bright spots. Some of these highlights include a sweep of Lakeland at the varsity level (including a buzzer-beater by senior captain Danny Woodcock) and fellow senior captain Kevin DeRaffle becoming the eighth boys basketball player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career points.
In the fall, McClurg serves as an assistant coach for the Pompton Lakes football team that has made an appearance in the playoffs for the past two years. While working as a chemistry teacher and basketball coach, McClurg also took on the girls golf team which was newly formed a year ago. When asked about the experience coaching the team McClurg said, “The only way to describe it is an entertaining ride. The passion that the players showed for the sport whether they were an advanced player fine tuning their game, or a player picking up a golf club for the first time was unmatched. They are a great and positive group of players that enjoy playing the game and getting better with their teammates. The first year was an incredible run with the end result being a County Invitational Championship.”
McClurg returns as the girls golf coach this coming season with several golfers from last year’s county championship team. He hopes to continue the success in the teams second season. Coach Mcclurg has been part of several great teams for WMHS as an athlete, and he looks to be the coach of many great teams for years to come.