When Bob McClure was in his late teens and early 20s, it was rare that an account of a Muhlenberg basketball game did not include mention of his tremendous accomplishments.
Who knew that the same would be true when he was in his 60s?
McClure, who played basketball at Muhlenberg from 1968 to 1971, has been in the news a lot lately as some of his records have fallen. It is a testament to how impressive his career was that it not only took 40 years to break his records, but it also took three different players:
• Last year, Spencer Liddic broke McClure’s 1970-71 mark of 508 points in a season. Liddic scored 509, and this year he passed McClure for second on the Mules’ all-time rebounding list and third on the field goals made chart.
• In late January, Alexandra Chili broke McClure’s record of 1,788 points scored by a Muhlenberg basketball player, male or female. Chili has 1,966 heading into this weekend’s NCAA Tournament.
• Ten days ago, Malique Killing broke McClure’s 1967-68 school record of 419 points scored by a freshman. Killing ended the season with 449, which is also a Centennial Conference record.
So what does McClure, now 62 and a financial consultant in Downingtown, Pa., think about all this?
“It’s a good thing!” he said. “Forty years is long enough [to hold the records].”
McClure played on the highest-scoring teams in Muhlenberg men’s basketball history. In his four years – with no shot clock and no three-point line – the Mules averaged 79.9, 85.8, 84.4 and a school-record 86.6 points per game. For the first three of those years, he formed a sensational trio with Ned Rahn and Mickey Miller. At the time of their graduation, they ranked first, second and fourth on the all-time scoring list. They still are first, fourth and seventh.
“We had fun with our team, and I hope they have as much fun now,” said McClure, the MAC South player of the year in 1969 and 1971. “We had three guys who could put up 40 points every game. We were a run-and-gun team. It was a different way of playing.”
For all the high point totals and records, however, for McClure it always comes back to basketball being a team sport. And his Mules scored high in that regard too.
“We won three conference championships,” he says proudly, and that might be his most impressive legacy. Since Muhlenberg won back-to-back-to-back Middle Atlantic Conference South titles from 1968 to 1970, only twice has a team in the Mules’ conference (the MAC until 1993, the Centennial since) won three straight (F&M from 1992 to 1994 and 2010 to 2012).
McClure, who still owns the single-game scoring record of 44 points, was on hand at this year’s Scotty Wood Tournament to present Liddic with a ball for breaking his record, and he recently e-mailed head men’s coach Scott McClary with congratulations after the Mules qualified for the playoffs.
“I wish them all the best,” he said.
That “best” may include more of Bob McClure’s records going down in the coming years. And that would be a good thing too.