Brandon McGinnis, shown coaching St. Rita in a tournament match at Glenbard East in the spring, has been named the new coach at his alma mater, Brother Rice. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Brandon McGinnis, shown coaching St. Rita in a tournament match at Glenbard East in the spring, has been named the new coach at his alma mater, Brother Rice. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | Rice grad McGinnis returns to Crusaders; Max Strus cashes in

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Brandon McGinnis’ first season as a high school boys volleyball head coach ended at his alma mater, Brother Rice.

St. Rita, which McGinnis coached at the time, dropped a 25-16, 25-8 sectional semifinal match to the Crusaders on May 27.

His second season will find him back at Rice, where he has been hired to replace the retired Dan Dwyer.

McGinnis played four years for the Crusaders under Dwyer and former head coach Paul Ickes, helping the Crusaders make a state-run in 2012. After graduating in 2013, he played at Saint Xavier, serving as team captain in 2018 and earning all-conference honors that season.

“Four years as a Brother Rice student offered me many opportunities, both athletically and academically,” McGinnis said in a news release. “It gave me lifelong resources to succeed, as well as some of the best memories with my fellow Crusaders.

“I built strong, lasting relationships, not only with my teammates, but also with staff and peers. My former coaches during my time at Rice — Dan Dwyer, Paul Ickes and Denis Bergstedt — played an important role for me to pursue my goals.  I attribute so much of who I am today to my alma mater, and I am so grateful to return as the varsity coach this year.”

Aside from the season at St. Rita, in which the Mustangs went 20-17 with a regional championship and a regular season victory over powerful Lyons, he has coached at Michio Chicago Volleyball Academy and Mother McAuley, and founded Hybrid Advantage, a volleyball club based in Oak Lawn.

 

$trus $igns
It didn’t take former Stagg standout Max Strus to cash in on a hefty NBA deal.

The 3-point sharpshooter from Hickory Hills signed with his former team, Miami, $63 million over flour years and was then traded to Cleveland in a three-way sign-and-trade deal that also involved San Antonio.

Strus was a regular starter for the Heat and averaged 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Eastern Conference champions.

The DePaul graduate will be at Stagg July 17-20 to host his youth basketball camp for boys and girls in second through eighth grades.

 

Back in the game
Former Stagg star T.J. McFarland was called back up to the major leagues and on June 28 pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the New York Mets.

This marks the 11th straight season the 34-year-old left-handed reliever has pitched in a major league game.

McFarland has pitched for Baltimore, Arizona, Oakland and St. Louis. He opened this season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he pitched 32 innings and had a 2.76 ERA.

 

Back in the House
Brother Rice graduate Gerald Wilcher was named the football coach at Morehouse College, where he was a four-year letter winner.

Wilcher has had various coaching stints on different levels including jobs with the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2018, he rescued a boy from drowning in a swimming pool and the following year was honored for heroism by the City Council of Missouri City, Texas.

 

No. 3 in the nation
Marist’s Class 4A champion softball team finished the season ranked third in the nation by extrainningsoftball.com.

Lake Creek (Texas) and Ballard (Kentucky) earned the top two slots, respectively.

 

Nauden to Navy
Brother Rice two-sport star Randall Nauden has committed to play football at Navy, choosing that over baseball.

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