By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
Following an early departure by coach Justin Bowen, who left to pursue a job at the college level at the end of the 2020 season, the Kenwood Academy Broncos named coach Mike Irvin as their new boys’ basketball coach on Thursday, August 27, via a press release.
“Mike Irvin is excited to be coaching his first season at Kenwood,” said Irvin’s PR team via a press release. “His knowledge, experience, and development of players will make him very successful. Mike played high school and college basketball and went on to study business in college. He is CEO of the Mac Irvin Fire and the President of the McGlother & Louise Irvin Foundation.”
Irvin, a Chicago native, is known for building a successful traveling basketball program that is recognized and respected across the country. Irvin’s strengths currently align with the mission and vision statement of the Broncos, which includes delivering students to college via athletic scholarships, along with the ability to nurture and mentor young men, which are all essential elements of a successful basketball coach.
“I wasn’t going to do it while my brother Nick was coaching,” said Irvin via the Chicago Sun-Times. “As a family we try to support one another. But my goal was always to be a high school coach. While Nick had that opportunity at Morgan Park, I settled into the AAU scene. But high school coaching has always been on my mind and I’d like to thank [Kenwood principal] Karen Calloway for the opportunity.”
Irvin also serves on the board of ABIS, the Academy of Business In Society organization, where he helps promote the advancement of Blacks in sports by working collectively to advocate for a culture of equality in all aspect of sports. Irvin’s father, Mac Irvin, was known as the “Godfather of Chicago Basketball” who started one of the nation’s best basketball programs in sports history.
In addition to his father’s legacy, Irvin’s brother Byron was also a first-round pick for the Portland Trailblazers. His brother Lance is the current head coach for the men’s basketball program at Chicago State University. His brother Nick is a newly hired assistant coach for the Western Illinois men’s basketball team after winning four state titles in 12 seasons. And lastly, Irvin’s cousin Glenn “Doc” Rivers is currently the head coach of one of the NBA’s top teams, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Irvin has also worked for companies such as Nike, to help bring together the best high school, college, and professional basketball players in the Chicagoland area.
For over 13 years Irvin has assisted players with scholarship on all levels and said he is ready to enhance his new role as head basketball coach for the Broncos. He said his focus is to help enhance players’ skills and work ethics, and to help young men reach their goals.
As CEO of the influential Mac Irvin Fire, Irvin said he hopes to marry his resources with Kenwood’s resources to help form a basketball powerhouse in the near future.
Irvin delivered his short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals for the Broncos in the following order: “First, win the Red [conference], second, win the city, and third, win a state championship.”