Mick Cronin (basketball)
|Michael "Mick" Cronin|
July 17, 1971 |
|Alma mater||University of Cincinnati|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Woodward HS (asst.)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
OVC Tournament Championship (2004, 2006)
OVC Regular Season Championship (2006)
AAC Regular Season Championship (2014)
Athlon assistant coach of the year (2003)
OVC Coach of the Year (2006)
AAC Coach of the Year (2014)
Mick Cronin grew up on the west side of Cincinnati, the son of Peggy and Harold "Hep" Cronin. Mick was one of three children along with brother, Dan, and sister, Kelly. Hep Cronin was a high school coach with more than 400 career wins—around the gyms of Cincinnati. Not only did his father coach basketball, he also was a teacher, a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves and an employee at River Downs race track during the summers.
Attending LaSalle High School, the five-foot, seven-inch Cronin, playing for his dad, earned all-city honors in basketball at LaSalle. He led the city in assists and was second in 3-point shooting percentage during the 1989-90 season. A knee injury near the end of his junior season ended his playing career.
As a student at the University of Cincinnati, while accompanying his dad to scout a Cincinnati Woodward High School game, Mick was offered a job coaching the freshman team and assisting with the varsity by then-Bulldogs coach Jim Leon. From 1991 to 1996 he served as a varsity assistant coach and junior varsity coach at Woodward. Cronin compiled a 57-3 record in three seasons as JV coach, and as a varsity aide, Woodward claimed three city championships. While at Woodward, Cronin helped develop six players who went on to play Division I college basketball, including former University of Louisville players Eric Johnson and Dion Edwards, and former Cincinnati guard Damon Flint.
He received a bachelor of science degree in history from the University of Cincinnati in 1996.
In the spring of 1996, Cronin coached the East team in the Magic Johnson Roundball Classic. He was director of the 1994 Pittsburgh high school Roundball Classic national all-star game. Cronin has coached and served on the selection committee for the adidas camp and spent four summers on the staff of the Five-Star Teaching Camp.
College coaching career
He took his first college coaching job as a video coordinator under Bob Huggins at the University of Cincinnati in 1996-97, and the following season was elevated to assistant coach, a post he held at UC until 2001. Cronin built a reputation for his ability to evaluate and recruit top talent; at UC as an assistant for Huggins from 1997-2001, Cronin recruits included NBA Draft selections Steve Logan (Golden State Warriors), DerMarr Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), Pete Mickeal and Kenny Satterfield (Dallas Mavericks), and Jason Maxiell (Detroit Pistons).
Cronin became the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisville under Rick Pitino, beginning with the 2001-02 season. In his first year, Cronin helped attract a top-10 ranked recruiting class.
Cronin's first head coaching job was at Murray State, hired in 2003. In three seasons at Murray, Cronin led the team to the NCAA Tournament twice and was named the 2006 Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year.
After the 2005-2006 season, he was hired as Cincinnati's coach, replacing interim coach Andy Kennedy after the dismissal of Bob Huggins. Cronin had to pick up the pieces from a depleted program after Huggins was asked to resign with no warning three months before the 2005 season, and a temporary coach was used for a season. Due to the school having done little to no recruiting for nearly a year, Cronin was forced to scrounge for players. He even had a couple players on the football team play, one being current Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin.
Although Cronin's teams struggled early in his UC career, he improved the school's win total each of his first five seasons. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, he has amassed a 98-34 record (as of 2/20/14) and has lead UC to three straight NCAA Tournament berths and a Sweet 16 appearance. For the 2009-10 season, Cronin was able to successfully recruit Lance Stephenson, the all-time leading scorer in New York state high school basketball history who now stars for the NBA's Indiana Pacers. During his one season at Cincinnati, Stephenson as named the Big East Rookie of the Year.
Cronin is also the only UC coach to ever lead the Bearcats to a win over a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament, when 6th-seeded Cincinnati defeated 3rd-seeded Florida State in 2012.
In 2011, the University of Cincinnati board of trustees approved a contract extension for Cronin through 2017 with an average pay of $1.5 million a year. It included an increase in salary for his staff, as well as an increase in the basketball program budget.
Cronin said in 2014 that he has turned down “million-dollar raises’’ each of the last three years from schools wanting to hire him, including North Carolina State University, then the University of Illinois and University of Minnesota. But he is pushing for either a new arena or a renovation of US Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati in order for the Bearcats to remain competitive on a national scale. “I’m thankful to be here. I have zero desire to ever leave,’’ he said. Written by Andrew Thiemann.
Personal life & community involvement
Cronin is very active in Cincinnati-area charities. He serves as a board member of the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer of Southwest Ohio chapter. He assists with a major fundraising event, Soul of the City Soiree, for Our Daily Bread soup kitchen that has generated more than $100,000 each of the past two years
Cronin also annually speaks with the Young Executive Group of the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education (CISE) Fund. The group raises money from area corporations to help give children from low-income urban settings the opportunity to attend Catholic schools.
Cronin's father, Hep, who lives with Mick's sister, Kelly, attends Bearcats games, frequently attends their practices and sometimes travels with the team. Mick Cronin's mother, Peggy, died of cancer in 2005.
Head coaching record
|Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference) (2003–2006)|
|2003–04||Murray State||28–6||14–2||2nd||NCAA First Round|
|2005–06||Murray State||24–7||17–3||1st||NCAA First Round|
|Murray State:||69–24 (.742)||42–10 (.808)|
|Cincinnati (Big East) (2006–2013)|
|2007–08||Cincinnati||13–19||8–10||10th||CBI First Round|
|2009–10||Cincinnati||19–16||7–11||T–11th||NIT Second Round|
|2010–11||Cincinnati||26–9||11–7||T–6th||NCAA Third Round|
|2011–12||Cincinnati||26–11||12–6||T–4th||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2012–13||Cincinnati||22–12||9–9||T–9th||NCAA Second Round|
|Cincinnati (American Athletic Conference) (2013–present)|
|2013–14||Cincinnati||27–7||15–3||T–1st||NCAA Second Round|
|Cincinnati:||162–107 (.602)||72–70 (.507)|
- Cronin preps UC for future
- Woodward High School
- "Mick Cronin Profile – University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- Cronin to replace Anderson – Men's College Basketball – ESPN
- Cronin introduced as coach at Cincinnati – Men's College Basketball – ESPN