In his first year on the job, head coach Keith Byrd led the Montgomery College men’s basketball team to its first Maryland Junior College Conference title since 1992. Even though they lost the following week in the region’s title game, the Raptors’ resurgence did not go unnoticed.
Byrd, an alumnus who played under legendary Montgomery College coach Steve Hobson in the late 1990s, was named MDJUCO Coach of the Year.
After a tumultuous 2014-2015 season in which the Raptors won just three games and ended the season with six active players, MC was picked to finish last in Maryland.
Instead, they went on to finish second and win the conference tournament. The rapid transformation cannot be understated, as MC won 23 games, posted an 11-3 record in conference play, and completed upsets of heavily favored Harford and Baltimore City on the way to the tournament title.
However, Byrd admits his most rewarding milestone may be his team’s overall grade point average of 3.0.
“Quite often, student-athletes who commit to academic excellence are often times committed to team excellence, and I wholeheartedly believe there’s a correlation between the two,” said the Montgomery County native who graduated from Paint Branch High School and grew up in Takoma Park.
Montgomery College is an institution that has a proven record of academic excellence, so it makes it easy to be an ambassador for the resources and opportunities MC offers,” he says.