Lucas McKay | Assistant Coach
Lucas McKay was named Kansas City Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, on April 15, 2019. The Raleigh, N.C., native comes to Kansas City after being on the Clemson University men’s basketball staff for each of the past nine seasons. While at Clemson most recently, McKay was the Director of Recruiting and the Director of Operations and Video Coordinator.
Donlon and McKay were on the same staff at Wright State University (Ohio) for three seasons (2007-10) when Donlon was the associate head coach and McKay was the administrative assistant. At Kansas City, McKay will focus on all recruiting aspects of the Roos program.
“I want to thank coach Brownell (at Clemson) for the opportunity to be a part of his programs since 2003,” said McKay. “My wife Lindsay and I are honored to be reunited with coach Donlon at Kansas City. We look forward to building Kansas City basketball into a championship program.”
While at Clemson, McKay was part of a highly successful unit that won 45 games the past two years, which ranks as the third-most victories in back-to-back seasons in Clemson history. This past year, the Tigers went 20-14 and advanced to the NIT Second Round. In 2017-18, McKay was part of a program to post a school-record 11 conference victories and a trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
“Lucas is an extremely bright, hardworking young coach who is very well connected in recruiting and does a great job building strong relationships with players,” said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell, who has mentored McKay the past nine years. “He will be a tremendous asset to coach Donlon because he has also dealt with every aspect of the operations side of the basketball program.”
After graduation from University of North Carolina -- Wilmington (UNCW) in 2006, McKay was the assistant coach for one season at Harrells Christian Academy, a prep school in Harrells, N.C. After that, he worked as an administrative assistant under Brownell and Donlon at Wright State for three seasons from 2007-10. He was part of a team to record a 61-35 mark. McKay basically oversaw the day-to-day organization of the basketball office.
"I have known Lucas since he was a freshman at UNCW in 2003 and became our student assistant,” said coach Donlon. “His work ethic and integrity are second to none. Lucas is detail-oriented, an excellent teacher of the game and our players and Kansas City community will love his effervescent personality. We are excited to welcome his family, his wife Lindsay and their children to the Roo Family. "
McKay earned his master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Wright State in June 2009. He has served on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Operations panel at the last two Final Fours. He is married to the former Lindsay Martin and they have a son, Ethan, and daughter, Emerson.
Steve Payne | Assistant Coach
Steve Payne was hired to join Billy Donlon's staff in June, 2019. He will be in his first year as an assistant coach of the Kansas City men's basketball program.
Payne will focus on coaching post players, scheduling, junior college recruiting and organizing team camp. He arrives at Kansas City having been the head coach at Tennessee Tech for the past eight seasons (2011-19). Overall, he was at Tech since 2002, serving as assistant and associate head coach from 2002-11. At Tech, he compiled a 118-134 (.468) head coaching record, including three seasons of 19 victories and two postseason appearances.
In his first season in 2011-12, Payne led the Golden Eagles to a 19-14 record and the program’s sixth ever postseason trip, playing in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. In 2015-16, Payne collected his second 19-win season while leading the Golden Eagles to their seventh postseason appearance in program history and second under his watch, accepting a bid to the inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament.
In his final year as a Tech assistant, Payne was named the 2011 Top Assistant Coach in the Ohio Valley Conference by FoxSports.com. Overall as an assistant, Payne helped Tech post 149 wins and two of the program’s five 20-win seasons, hitting that mark in 2002-03 and 2010-11. Payne was also recognized in July 2009 as one of the Top 25 Mid-Major assistant basketball coaches in the nation, according to CollegeInsider.com.
Prior to his arrival at Tech, Payne was the acting head coach at Frank Phillips Junior College in Borger, Texas, for two years from 2000-02. He arrived at Frank Phillips from Georgetown College (Ky.), where he was an associate head coach for four years (1996-2000) under head coach Happy Osborne. During that time, the Tigers compiled a 128-22 record and three Mid-South Conference championships in four years. The Tigers won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship in 1997-98. Georgetown also finished second in the national tournament in 1999-00 and advanced to the national quarterfinals in 1998-99.
Payne also served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northwestern (La.) State University where he helped lead NSU to its best conference finish in a decade. He was also an assistant coach at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where he was recruiting coordinator and helped lead the team to back-to-back 20-win seasons. Payne was director of player development at Union, and that included the coaching of two NAIA all-Americans. He also coached at Knox Central High School in Barbourville, Ky.
He is a graduate of Russell County High School in Russell Springs, Ky., and earned his bachelor’s degree from Union College in Barbourville, Ky., in 1990. Payne was a three-year starter and captain for the Bulldogs as a college star and eclipsed 1,000 points at Union.
Rodney Perry | Assistant Coach
Rodney Perry was hired to join Billy Donlon's staff in June, 2019. He will be in his first year as an assistant coach of the Kansas City men's basketball program. His Kansas City coaching roots are deep and his mentorship has developed current NBA players, such as Alec Burks of the Utah Jazz, Willie Cauley-Stein of the Sacramento Kings and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.
Perry brings with him over 25 years of head coaching duties at the collegiate, high school and camp levels. Most recently, he was the associate head coach at Oral Roberts University for two years (2016-18) and the head boy’s coach at Summit Christian Academy (High School) in Oklahoma during 2018-19. At Summit Christian, he won the first conference championship in school history.
At Oral Roberts, Perry began under Scott Sutton’s staff and finished with Paul Mills. He helped the Golden Eagles lead the Summit League in rebounding margin in league games the last two years. In 2018-19, ORU big men Emmanuel Nzekwesi and Kevin Obanor were both named to the All-Summit League second team, while Obanor picked up Freshman of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and All-Newcomer Team honors as well.
For six seasons from 2010-16, Perry was the head coach at Avila University (Mo.), where he compiled three winning seasons. Included in his tenure was a school-record 20-11 mark during the 2015-16 campaign. Overall, he won 81 contests at the NAIA institution in suburban Kansas City.
Prior to Avila, he coached at the Division I level at Duquesne University and Western Illinois University and at the Division II level at Southwest Baptist University.
Perry played two years at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith before transferring to Missouri State University, where he helped the Bears to a pair of postseason appearances. In 1992, he was part of Charlie Spoonhour's 23-8 NCAA Tournament team. In his senior season in 1993, he served as co-captain for an MSU squad that posted a 20-11 mark and advanced to the quarterfinal of the National Invitational Tournament under Mark Bernsen.
Leading the team in steals in each of his two seasons at Missouri State, Perry was named to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) All-Tournament team after helping lead the school to its first - and only - postseason conference tournament title in 1992. Perry was also a two-time member of the MVC All-Defensive Team.
He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education at Missouri State in 1994. That same year, his coaching career took off as an assistant in the Missouri high school system. He coached at Willard High School and Springfield Central High School before landing the head coaching position at Purdy High School in 2001-02. Perry led Purdy to its best record in 10 years before accepting an assistant's job at Southwest Baptist in 2002.
In 1994, Perry started the Springfield Rockets AAU program and was named national AAU Coach of the Year after leading the team to the 1995 AAU national championship. In 10 years under Perry, the Rockets turned out 26 players who went on to compete at the collegiate level, including Anthony Moore who led Evangel University to the 2002 NAIA Division II national championship.
The Fort Smith, Ark., native coached for the USA Men’s West Team at the 2012 Nike Global Challenge and at the 2015 Nike Global Challenge.
On the camp circuit, Perry has served USA Basketball as a court coach at the 2019 USA Men’s U19 National Team training camp. He also previously was a court coach at the 2018 USA Men's Junior National Team October Minicamp and at the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup Team training camp.
Perry resides in Raymore, Mo., and has two sons Darris (23) and Devrin (15).
Drew Benedict | Director of Operations
Drew Benedict was hired to join Billy Donlon's staff in June, 2019. He will be in his first year as the director of basketball operations of the Kansas City men's basketball program.
Benedict comes to Kansas City after a playing and coaching career at Huntington University, an NAIA institution in Huntington, Ind. He was a four-year athlete on the basketball team, graduating with a Sport & Recreation Management degree in 2017. While earning his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from 2017-19, Benedict was an assistant on the coaching staff under head coach Ty Platt.
Benedict was a player on the 2013-14 Forester team to go 24-8 and advance to the NAIA National Tournament.
At Columbia City High School, Benedict was a three-time All-Northeast Hoosier Conference First Team selection while graduating as the school's all-time leader in 3-point field goals made (266). He also ended his career as the second-leading scorer in school history. He was a captain on the 2011 semifinal team at state competition.
A native of Columbia City, Ind., Benedict’s main duties will be the organization of team travel, the budget and overall operations of the program. Drew’s father, Chris, is a highly successful head coach in the Indiana High School ranks with nearly 400 career wins.