If you ask Max Good if he has been around the block in the world of college coaching, be prepared to laugh uncontrollably, blush slightly and become overwhelmed at the number of people that have been touched and positively influenced by the fact that Good has been a basketball coach.
And the passionate, charismatic coach of 40 years brings that influence to the LMU men's basketball program. And it has brought the Lions success as he enters his fifth season at the helm of the Lions in 2012-13.
Good, who officially took over the program as the 25th coach in school history on Jan. 12, 2009, continues to put the Lions in new levels of success.
In Good's fourth season, LMU finished the 2011-12 season at 21-13 overall and 11-5 (4th) in the WCC. Many of the Lions' marks in LMU's Centennial Season go back to the 1989-90 Elite Team, including its first 20-win season, the most conference wins, first postseason win, first team to earn consecutive postseason wins, most home wins (12), and best road record (9-4). In addition, the 21 wins is the fourth most in school history and the Lions' 11 conference wins is tied with the 1967-68 team for the third most. The Lions went on to win a pair of games in the CIT Postseason Tournament to advance to the quarterfinals, the first postseason wins since that Elite Eight team.
LMU finished the season 2011-12 season ranked 20th in the NCAA Division I National Rankings in three-point field goal defense (30.2 percent) and 39th in free throw percentage (73.8 percent). Good - who preaches defense - led the Lions' defense in holding 15 teams under 30 percent for the game, including BYU's 2-for-25 (8 percent) effort, Pepperdine's 2-for-15 effort (13.3 percent) as well as Gonzaga and Portland to 15.4 percent (2-for-13). In non-conference they held UCLA to 13.3 percent and North Texas' to 15.8 percent.
In addition, the Lions have found success in the big games Good. The Lions are 4-4 against ranked opponents the last three seasons under Good, including a 3-2 mark in 2011-12. The three wins in one season against ranked opponents is second only to the 1989-90 team in program history. Good has led the Lions to a pair of wins (#9 Gonzaga, #23 Saint Louis) over ranked teams at home, the first coach to do so since Coach Donovan in 1961.
The games against UCLA and Florida State in 2011-12 were the eighth and ninth time under Good the Lions played a team from the "BCS" conferences. The Lions are 3-6 in those meetings, defeating USC (67-59), Notre Dame (87-85) and now UCLA (69-58), all on the road. In addition, Good has led the Lions to more road wins than any head coach since Paul Westhead. At 9-4 this season, the Lions have the most road wins since the Westhead era.
The success in the 2011-12 season earned Good the WCC Coach of the Year, the Lions first since 1995-96. Entering 2012-13, Good is 53-75 in four seasons at LMU and has a career head coaching record of 295-298.
In his four seasons at LMU, the Lions have had at least two members of the All-WCC selections the last three seasons, its first NABC All-District and Jesuit All-American (Anthony Ireland), three 1,000-point scorers (Drew Viney, Jarred DuBois, Vernon Teel), and just the 13th player to go for 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career (Viney).
Good is no stranger to running a program. The 2012-13 season will be Good's 21st as a head coach at the NCAA level, coaching eight seasons at Bryant College (2001-08) prior to joining LMU. He also coached at UNLV for one season (2000-01) and eight seasons at Eastern Kentucky University (1981-89). In addition, his impact hasn't been just at the college level as he was the head coach at the New England prep school Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine, for 10 seasons (1990-00).
Good coached 28 of the Lions' 31 games in the 2008-09 season, filling in for former Head Coach Bill Bayno, who served a leave of absence before resigning due to health issues. Good led the Lions despite a limited roster of just seven healthy scholarship players and a non-conference schedule ranked as high as 47 in the RPI.
In year two, it was a different story.
The Lions finished Good's second season at 18-16 overall and tied for fourth in the West Coast Conference at 7-7. The team posted its second best turn-around in school history with 15 more wins than the year prior (which was also the second-best turn-around in the nation in 2009-10), posted the longest win streak since the 1995-96 season (6 games), defeated their first ranked opponent (#9 Gonzaga) since 1990, posted the program's first ranked-win at Gersten Pavilion, defeated a top-10 team for the second time in school history (the last being in 1960), and had three players earn postseason All-WCC honors, just the 10th time since 1956 three or more Lions have claimed WCC honors (Viney, Teel and Hamilton).
"I have never been a part of a team that flat out refused to quick. Despite all of our issues, they never took the opportunity to feel sorry for themselves or get down," said Good. "Every day they came to practice and left everything out on the floor. That is why I coach, to be part of young men like that."
His third season at LMU saw the Lions deal with more injury issues and a juggling line-up as freshman Anthony Ireland was the only player to not miss a game on the season. However, the Lions managed to advance in the WCC Championships for the second straight year and had three players on the All-WCC team for the second consecutive season. That is the first time that has happened since 1989-90.
Prior to joining the Lions as an assistant, Good led Bryant University (Smithfield, RI) to new levels of success, posting a record of 132-86 in eight seasons. His final campaign in 2008 saw the Bulldogs earn their fifth-straight NCAA Division II Tournament berth with an 18-13 overall record. Good was named head coach in 2001 and inherited a program that had four straight losing seasons. He wasted little time in bringing success to the Bulldogs, posting a 17- 14 record in his second season and earning the honor of Most Improved team by the New England Basketball Coaches.
The 2003-04 season saw Good lead the Bulldogs to a new level. They set a school-record with 23 wins, earning the school's first NCAA tournament berth in 24 years. They not only qualified, but advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. After a tough loss in the regional finals in just his third season, year four may go down as one of the best in Bryant's history. Good led the team to another wins record at 25-9 overall, leading the team all the way to the NCAA Division II Championship, falling to Virginia Union in the title game, 63-58. Bryant College considers that team's run to the NCAA-II final as one of its greatest moments in program history.
Good came to Bryant after spending the 2000-01 season as the head coach of UNLV. He went on to post a record of 13-9 in his one season with the Runnin' Rebels. He joined the UNLV staff in 1999-00 as an assistant.
Prior to joining the UNLV staff, he spent 10 seasons (1989-99) as the head coach at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine. He compiled an impressive 275-30 (.902) record that included five New England Prep School Athletic Conference Championships. The NEPSAC is considered the top sub-college league in the country.
"I coached one of Max's players while I was at the University of Pittsburgh, a kid named Jaron Brown from Lexington, Kentucky. He was a great player, an All-Big East Player, really, really a hard worker," said UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland. "Max is one of those coaches that has a really great relationship with his players. While he was at MCI, a prep school in the middle of nowhere Maine, he lived with the team in the dorms. Everything they did, Max was involved in. Jaron was a great kid and he owed a lot of his success to Max. One of the reasons I am standing here is because we had a lot of success at Pitt and it was because of players like Jaron."
His squad captured back-to-back conference championships recording a 69-4 mark over those two years. The 1998-99 squad compiled a 34-4 overall record and the 1997-98 team was 35-0. The 1998-99 team featured DerMarr Johnson, the Parade National Player of the Year.
During his tenure, Good's teams enjoyed three undefeated seasons (26-0 in 1989-90; 24-0 in 1990-91; 35-0 in 1997-98). From 1989-92, Maine Central Institute compiled 79 straight victories and the 1991-92 squad was 29-1.
His extensive coaching background includes five seasons as the assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond (1976-81). He then was named the head coach and spent eight seasons at Eastern Kentucky from 1981-89. He compiled an overall record of 96-129 (.427) at EKU. He enjoyed his best season in 1986-87 with a 19-11 record as he was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year. The next season his squad was 18-11.
Before arriving at Eastern Kentucky, he spent six seasons at Richmond Madison High School in Richmond, Ky. He served three seasons (1970-73) as the JV head coach and three seasons (1973-76) as the head coach.
Through the years Good has seen his share of players go to the NBA. That list includes Sean Colson (Houston), Cuttino Mobley (LA Clippers), Brad Miller (Sacramento), Erick Barkley (Portland), DeMarr Johnson (San Antonio), Mamadou Ndiaye (Denver), Caron Butler (Wizards) and Etdrick Bohannon (Cleveland).
While known for his success on the court, Good also saw his players achieve in the classroom. His program at EKU had an 85-percent graduation rate, and 122 of his 128 players at MCI academically qualified for NCAA Division I and II competition following their prep years. Good graduated from EKU in 1969 and received a master's degree from his alma mater in 1970. He was introduced into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in Kingston, RI, for his time as coach at MCI in 2004 and was named the 2005 Words Unlimited Coach of the Year and Rhode Island Basketball Media Coach of the Year in 2008.