It was perhaps understandable as he was, indeed, attending school at the time. The new director of coaching at scottishathletics tells the story against himself, but also presumably to demonstrate that he is a driven individual who can learn from his mistakes.
Inevitably, as the tale unfolds and he mentions how he would devour any books he could lay his hands on outlining the training methods of the Russians and East Germans, who were dominating athletics at the time, ears prick up considerably. But none of these textbooks alluded to the widespread drug abuse, instead focusing on the relentless training regimes of the athletes. Slavishly following the schedules, but knowing nothing of the substances which made them possible, Maguire became a serially injured young athlete.
The experience taught him about fortitude, and he may need it in his new job. He was appointed in April, but only last month got behind the desk, having coached the visually impaired Jason Smyth to a repeat of his Beijing Paralympic 100 metres and 200m gold medals in the interim.
Maguire, whose other recent claim to coaching fame was working with the training group in Orlando, Florida, whose number included former 100m and 200m world champion Tyson Gay, joins an organisation which has not had its troubles to seek lately. The last man in charge of coaching, Laurier Primeau, resigned after five months, and that was 18 months ago. His acting replacement, Steve Rippon, departed in December.
None of this is good, but the lack of haste in replacing Primeau has been compounded by the running down of the clock towards the Commonwealth Games in 2014. It is just as well Maguire is a glass-half-full sort of bloke, because, if he were not, he might have reservations about the task facing him. Appointed too late to make a major difference in Glasgow, he will nevertheless inevitably inherit the flak if Scotland's athletes flop.
Not only that, but the track and field events being staged at Hampden will be centre stage for nationalist fervour. If the Olympics gave those in favour of retaining the Union a boost, the Yes campaign will be hoping for a similar bounce off the back of the Commonwealths. No pressure on Maguire to deliver, then.
The new man already has made it clear that he will be a facilitator for Scotland's established coaches, rather than a coach of athletes himself. And despite Scotland's failure to deliver more than two athletics medals – none of them gold – at the last four Games, Maguire is hopeful that the Hampden crowds will have something to cheer.
"I wouldn't be brave enough, or smart enough, [to make medal predictions]," he points out. "There has to be a realism. Look at the Commonwealth rankings: we have nobody in the top three.
"There are probably seven or eight with podium potential and we would like to stretch that out to 12-14 before 2014. If athletes go there with that potential anything can happen with the roar of 50,000 people at Hampden and the buzz of the whole nation behind them.
"We need to win more than two medals. Beside the girls who were in the Olympics I can see pockets of talent in the men, too. There are good 1500m runners and hammer thrower Mark Dry can be a player in the Commonwealth Games."
The news yesterday that Steph Twell, who won bronze in Delhi two years ago, has lost her UK "podium"' funding was a blow, but Maguire points out: "Steph is a very talented athlete and we need to pick up the gaps in her programme. We'll give her all the support she needs to develop and do well in the Games."
Those with long memories can only yearn for the success of Edinburgh in 1970, when Scottish athletes won eight Commonwealth medals, four of them gold. Maguire is not old enough to have those memories, but was listening on the radio when the Games returned to Scotland in 1986 and Liz Lynch (as she then was) won gold and Yvonne Murray was among the five other Scottish athletics medallists.
By coincidence, Maguire, who is 49, grew up in Strabane, County Tyrone, and was a year behind the 1986 gold medallist's future husband at school. He and Peter McColgan were also in the same athletics club, but while the latter went on to become a distinguished steeplechaser, Maguire was nursing his injuries and later coping with rheumatoid arthritis.
Having ended his commitment to Smyth, the new director of coaching sees himself in Scotland for the long haul, perhaps six to eight years, if he avoids the occupational hazards which have shortened the tenures of his predecessors.
"To me the job is a long-term project," he said, "but obviously with the Commonwealth Games I also have to focus on the short-term goals, as well. Those goals are to put in place the best performance structure that I can to help the athletes and coaches achieve for 2014. The ones we need to represent Scotland are the ones who are going to turn up on the day and deliver their best performance. If we can get them there fit and healthy, mentally right and knowing we have given them every opportunity, then it has been a success."
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