Temple confirmed Thursday that former men’s basketball standout and 13-year NBA veteran Aaron McKie has accepted an assistant coaching position with the team.
McKie will be working under Owls coach Fran Dunphy alongside returning assistants Dwayne Killings and Shawn Trice. Dave Duke, who has spent the last eight seasons as an Owls assistant, has been moved to a new role as director of player development in order to make room for McKie.
“We decided we were going to have another position available probably in April or May,” Dunphy said in a phone interview. “We talked to a number of guys about the position and Aaron was one of them. Most recently we got very involved with closing the loop to bringing somebody on board, and he was right at the top.”
“He’s a terrific guy and the fact that he’s a temple guy is very important for us,” Dunphy added. “He knows the university and the city, he knows the landscape and the basketball world that most of our guys are living in.”
The job was initially reported to be former Temple guard Rick Brunson’s in June, before reports emerged of Brunson’s alleged involvement in an Illinois sexual assault case in early July.
McKie’s hiring has been an anticipated one since a report first said McKie was to join the Owls’ staff in a player development position Aug. 6.
“Aaron McKie is not only Temple Basketball, but he is Philadelphia Basketball,” Dunphy said in a statement. “His name still resonates in the city, as he played his high school, college and professional ball in Philly. He is a tremendous representative of Temple University and possesses an astute basketball mind which will serve to help the program in so many ways.”
McKie, 41, played in 92 games for Temple across three seasons spanning from 1991 to ’94, averaging 17.9 points per game in a collegiate career that spurred the Portland Trailblazer’s selection of the 6-foot-5 swingman in the first round (17th overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft.
McKie won Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year honors as a junior in the 1992-93 season, in which he led the Owls with 20.6 ppg.
McKie spent 13 seasons in the NBA, parts of eight of which he spent with the Philadelphia 76ers, a tenure that was highlighted with the Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2000-01 season and an appearance in the NBA Finals that season.
His track record and local ties, Dunphy said, played an integral part in McKie’s eventual hiring.
“His experience as a Temple player and a professional player,” Dunphy said, “and as a professional coach and his desire to work with his alma mater were things that fit perfectly for us.”
Since his retirement in 2007, McKie spent six seasons with the Sixers as an assistant coach from 2008 until former Sixers coach Doug Collins resigned in 2013.
“I am truly excited for the opportunity to come back and coach at my alma mater,” McKie said in the press release. “To work on the staff of one of the best coaches in the country – one respected by his peers but under the radar in the media – in Fran Dunphy is a great opportunity. I am looking forward to helping the program continue its winning tradition.”
Andrew Parent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @daParent93.