After spending six seasons working under Tony Bennett as associate head coach at Virginia, McKay returned to Liberty as the men’s basketball head coach on April 1, 2015. McKay previously served as the program’s head coach during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
Despite being predicted to finish 11th in the 2015-16 Big South Preseason Poll, McKay guided the Flames to a top five seed and a first round bye in the 2016 Big South Championship, finishing 10-8 in conference play. Liberty’s 10 victories in conference play were the most since the 2010-11 season, and included a seven-game win streak. The Flames’ finish in the standings prompted McKay to receive Big South Coach of the Year honors.
Before returning to Liberty, McKay helped the Cavaliers post a 136-64 record, including back-to-back 30-win seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Virginia advanced to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament three out of McKay’s last four years with the program. Following an ACC Championship in 2014, the Cavaliers were the No. 1 seed in the East Region and advanced to the Sweet 16.
The Cavaliers spent seven weeks ranked as the No. 2 team in the country in 2014-15, finishing the year with a 30-4 overall record and a 16-2 mark in ACC play. Virginia advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Final Four team Michigan State.
Prior to his days in Charlottesville, McKay served two seasons as Liberty’s men’s basketball coach, posting a 39-28 overall record and a 19-13 mark in Big South play. He was named the seventh head coach in program history on March 26, 2007.
Following a 16-16 record during his first year at Liberty, McKay led the Flames to a 23-12 record in 2008-09. The win total matched the program’s NCAA Division I record for most wins in a season (Liberty finished the 1996-97 season with a 23-9 overall record).
Liberty finished the 2008-09 season third in the Big South standings, the Flames’ third double-digit win total in league play in the last 10 seasons (Liberty was 10-8 in 2009-10 and 13-5 in 2010-11).
The Flames were invited to play in the inaugural CollegInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), advancing to the second round following a win over Rider.
McKay led one of the top scoring offenses in the Big South and ranked No. 48 in the nation, averaging 75.5 points per game during the 2008-09 season.
Under McKay’s leadership, forward Anthony Smith (2006-09) finished his career ranked sixth in program history with 1,754 career points scored. Smith was named All-Big South first team in 2009, one of two first-team all-conference student-athletes coached by McKay (Alex McLean in 2008).
McKay brought Seth Curry to Liberty and the rookie made an immediate impact on the program. He finished the year averaging 20.2 points per game and was named 2009 Big South Freshman of the Year (second player in program history to receive the honor). Curry spotlighted McKay’s Top 50 recruiting class in 2008, which was ranked No. 48 in the country by Basketball Times.
McKay has compiled a 204-186 career coaching record in 13 seasons as a head coach. McKay has the winningest career coaching record in program history with a .582 winning percentage. Prior to his first stint as head coach at Liberty, McKay served as head coach at Portland State (1996-98), Colorado State (1998-00), Oregon State (2000-02) and New Mexico (2002-07).
Brad Soucie returned to the Hill City in April 2015 as an assistant coach of the Liberty men’s basketball program.
Soucie has the distinction of serving as an assistant under Ritchie McKay every day of his head coaching career. The partnership began in 1995 when the two helped resurrect the program at Portland State, which had been dormant for 15 years. He followed McKay to Colorado State, Oregon State, and New Mexico, before joining him in his first stint with the Flames (2007-09).
During the 2008-09 campaign, Soucie helped guide the Flames to a 23-12 record and an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).
Soucie’s resume includes 22 years of coaching experience. While McKay served as an associate head coach at Virginia for six seasons (2010-15), Soucie was the Cavaliers’ director of player development. Following an ACC Championship in 2014, the Cavaliers were the No. 1 seed in the East Region and advanced to the Sweet 16. The Cavaliers spent seven weeks ranked as the No. 2 team in the country during the 2014-15 season, finishing the year with a 30-4 overall record and a 16-2 mark in ACC play. Virginia advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Final Four team Michigan State.
A gifted outside shooter in his own right, Soucie played a big part in the development of former New Mexico standout Ruben Douglas, who led the nation in scoring (28.0 ppg) in 2002-03. Soucie assisted in the development of former Liberty guard Anthony Smith, helping the junior become the only player in the nation during the 2008-09 season to attempt at least 200 three-point field goals and succeed on at least 50 percent of his field goal attempts (51.5) and 40 percent of his three-point field goal attempts (41.0).
Soucie also did pre-draft off-season training for Virginia graduate players now in the NBA – Mike Scott, Joe Harris, and Justin Anderson.
Soucie played college basketball at Eastern Michigan (EMU) for two seasons before transferring to Christian Heritage College in El Cajon, Calif., now known as San Diego Christian.
While at EMU, Soucie helped lead the Eagles to the 1986 NCAA Tournament. In their first-round game against Pittsburgh, Soucie set a first-round record with eight 3-pointers.
Soucie played his final two years at Christian Heritage, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, and later served as an assistant coach for two years.
Soucie played in the NBA Summer League with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Dallas Mavericks. He was also a member of the Athletes-in-Action traveling team.
Soucie and his wife, Kendra, have two daughters, Mikayla and Mariah, and a son, Levi.
Derek Johnston joined Liberty’s coaching staff in May of 2018.
Johnston comes from the University of Alabama Huntsville where he served as an assistant coach under head coach Lennie Acuff. During his three years at UAH, Johnston helped the Chargers win two Gulf South Conference (GSC) regular season titles and a GSC tournament title. Alabama Huntsville appeared in two NCAA Division II tournaments including hosting the 2016 NCAA South Regional, the same year UAH advanced to the final.
While at UAH, Johnston led the program’s recruiting efforts and was in charge of opponent scouting. A native of Lexington, Ala., Johnston was a part of a coaching staff that developed a potent offensive attack, averaging 83.7 points per game, which ranked No. 32 throughout Division II this past season.
Johnston has quickly moved up the coaching ranks over the last eight years. Prior to UAH, Johnston was an assistant coach for one of the best Division III programs in the country in Williams College. During his time in Massachusetts, Williams College advanced to the Division III Elite Eight in 2013 and the Final Four in 2014. Johnston was instrumental in recruiting at Williams College including the d3hoops.com National Rookie of the Year. From 2010-12, Johnston began his coaching career as the head coach at Lexington High School (Lexington, Ala.) Johnston revamped the program, guiding the school to its first county championship since 1995.
Johnston is married to his wife, Andee.
Liberty men’s basketball and head coach Ritchie McKay announced the hiring of Kevin Anderson in August of 2018 as assistant coach.
Anderson is acquainted with Liberty basketball as he spent 2017-18 at Campbell working as the assistant director of basketball operations. While working at Campbell, Anderson’s duties included breaking down film for games and practices while also building great relationships with the players. Anderson helped the Camels post back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in school history while making the postseason in both of his seasons on staff.
Anderson will be a familiar face in the state of Virginia as he played his collegiate ball at Richmond where he was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 2008 and went on to earn A-10 Player of the Year and conference tournament MVP honors in 2011, when he led the Spiders to the league title and to a berth in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. He was a two-time Associated Press honorable mention All-American.
The former All-American will bring a player’s perspective on the bench as he embarked on a professional career that included stops in France, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Poland after his career at Richmond. Anderson played with the NBA D-League’s Canton Charge in 2012, was invited to the Cleveland Cavaliers training camp in 2012 and also was a member of the Orlando Magic summer league team.
Joe Pierre III was hired as Director of Player Development in April of 2018.
Pierre joins Liberty’s staff after serving as a graduate assistant for Middle Tennessee working for Kermit Davis. During his two years at Middle Tennessee, the Blue Raiders went 56-13 with two postseason tournament appearances. In his first season at MT, Pierre and the Blue Raiders advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Minnesota in the first round. This past season, Middle Tennessee went 25-8 and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
Pierre joined the Blue Raiders’ staff after spending the spring of 2016 as an assistant coach at Pawnee High School in Oklahoma under six-time state champion coach David Page where he also was a middle school teacher. His 2016 squad started 28-0 before falling in the state semifinal game.
He also spent a season as the head coach of the eighth grade team at Stillwater Junior High School in 2015. Prior to his high school coaching stint, Pierre served as a student manager from 2011-15 at Oklahoma State University working under Travis Ford and his father, former Cowboys assistant Butch Pierre.
During his four seasons assisting with the Cowboys men’s basketball program, OSU tallied 78 wins and made three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. Pierre graduated from Oklahoma State in December 2015 with a B.S. in secondary education and is now working on his M.Ed. in administration at Middle Tennessee.
Pierre played high school basketball at Stillwater High School for coach Michael “Chick” Davis before suffering a career-ending ACL injury and graduated in 2011. Pierre replaces Marcus Conrad, who joined Charlotte’s staff.
Henry Barrera joined the Liberty men’s basketball program as its Director of Performance in June 2015.
Barrera comes to Liberty from the state of Oregon, where he was a Performance Training Specialist at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. While at Nike he was instrumental in designing training content for multiple projects including Jordan Brand’s Terminal 23 in New York and The Hangar in Los Angeles. He continues to consultant with many training companies including Nike Basketball, the Jordan Brand, Nike N7, Shoot 360 and multiple others.
As a basketball player, Barrera began his college career with Leon Rice at Yakima Valley Community College helping rebuild a dormant program and eventually becoming league co-champs in 1996-97. After two years at Yakima Valley Community College Henry moved onto Multnomah University where he had a stellar career, averaging close to 20.0 ppg and dishing out almost 8.0 apg. Barrera was rewarded for his hard work and dedication by being named a three-time All-American and was ultimately honored with the 1999-2000 NCCAA Pete Maravich National Player of the Year award.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Barrera played one season of professional basketball in Sweden before beginning his coaching and performance training career 14 years ago. Along the way, Barrera made a stop at Concordia University, serving as the men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach for four years, where he received a Master’s degree. In addition, Barrera has spent the last decade serving in multiple capacities at the high school level, including the last seven years at West Linn High School where he helped build the Lions into one of the top programs in the country, winning three straight Oregon state championships.
Barerra has built a strong reputation for his relentless pursuit to improve human performance, specifically for basketball players. His history as a player and integrated training philosophy allow him to impact the program in multiple ways.
Barrera has owned and operated Hoop Diaries, a basketball and performance training company for the last seven years, training athletes world-wide with the mission of learning, sharing and growing.
He makes his way to the Hill City along with his wife of 15 years, Melody, and four children – three daughters, Maya, Malia, and Moriah, and son, Marquez.