Men's Basketball
Kentucky Men’s Basketball Adds Mikhail McLean to Staff

Kentucky Men’s Basketball Adds Mikhail McLean to Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. –  Mikhail McLean (pronounced: MICK-hail MUH-clean) has joined the Kentucky men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach, UK head coach Mark Pope announced Friday.

“Mikhail played and coached under Kelvin Sampson who is one of the best, toughest and smartest coaches in the game,” Pope said. “Mikhail’s work with The Bahamian National Team along with his college coaching experience has allowed him to become one of the hardest-working, detail-oriented and top skill development coaches in the country. I’m so excited to have him and his family join our staff, and for him to get to work with our team because he is going to make a massive impact on this program.”

McLean has spent the last three seasons on staff with Lamar as an assistant coach where the Cardinals have steadily improved year-to-year, culminating in a record-breaking 19-14 season in 2023-24.

“I am honored to be joining Coach Pope and the Kentucky men’s basketball staff,” McLean said. “There is not a better fan base to work for and chase championships than this one. I would like to thank Coach Pope and Mitch Barnhart for affording me this opportunity. I would be remiss if I did not also thank Alvin Brooks for his selfless leadership and mentorship the last 14 years at both Lamar University and the University of Houston, along with Kelvin Sampson for their unbelievable support and guidance. My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Lexington community and I can’t wait to get to work.”

The Cardinals’ 19 wins were their most in NCAA Division I since the 2011-12 season and the second most since the 1987-88 campaign. Lamar tallied 12 Southland Conference wins, which were the most for the program in more than five seasons. The Cardinals led the conference in scoring and were led by National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District guard selection Chris Pryor. Pryor averaged 11.5 points per game and ranked among the league’s leaders in assists and steals.

McLean had a hand in Lamar’s rise as the team’s offensive coordinator. He was also responsible for on-court player development with the guards and wings.

In addition to his collegiate coaching career, McLean is a native of The Bahamas and serves as the associate head coach on the Bahamian National Team staff. He has been a part of the program since 2021 and is the squad’s defensive coordinator.

Team Bahamas made history in 2023 by defeating Argentina twice, who ranked fourth in the world, during the Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament. Team Bahamas earned a ticket to the final qualifying tournament for the 2024 Olympics after downing Cuba and Uruguay during the 2023 run.

McLean and The Bahamas National Team will depart next week for a quest to appear in the 2024 Olympic Games. The Bahamas are slated to have two exhibition contests before participating in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Valencia, Spain, beginning on July 2. The Bahamas is seeking its first-ever appearance in the Olympics.

A former standout player for Houston, McLean was a four-year letterwinner for the Cougars and appeared in 101 games. He was a team captain and a five-time Dean’s List selection. McLean completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Houston in four years.

Following his playing career, McLean joined the Cougars’ staff as a graduate assistant before transitioning into the role of assistant director of player development. He was part of Houston’s staff for six seasons, helping the Cougars to American Athletic Conference titles in back-to-back seasons in 2019 and 2020. Houston advanced to the Sweet 16 in each of his final two seasons with the program and made a run to the 2021 Final Four.

At Houston, McLean’s duties included opponent scouting and player development. He worked with three NBA Draft selections, including Marcus Sasser, Quentin Grimes and Damyean Dotson.

McLean and his wife, Arrion, have three sons, Mikhail Jr., Amari and Kai.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and on the web at

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