McCoy was a basketball and football letterman at Spingarn High School, where he guided his hoop team into postseason play three consecutive years. As a senior, he averaged 11.5 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots while playing most of the season with a nagging injury. As a junior, he averaged 17.1 points and was picked to the All-Metro D.C. team. He was tabbed second team All-Metro D.C. and pre-season honorable mention All-America in high school.

At WVU, he averaged 3.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 26 games and blocked six shots in 1980. He was considered as the second only to Moore among the guards. In 1981 season, McCoy averaged 7.0 points a game as a sophomore guard. He led WVU in scoring on two occasions, a 15-point effort against Ohio State and an 18-point output against George Washington. In the summer of 1981, McCoy played in the NIT caught the eye of many basketball followers, including former NBA great Walt Frazier who invited him to workout with him. McCoy majored in Physical Education.