DENTON - Grant McCasland has been hired as North Texas men's basketball head coach, Vice President and director of athletics Wren Baker announced Monday.
"I am excited to welcome Grant McCasland as our 18th head men's basketball coach," Baker said. "Coach McCasland is a rising superstar in college basketball and possesses all of the qualities we desired when we began our search. He has been successful at every step of his career. He's a proven coach and recruiter, but most importantly, he has demonstrated the ability to help young men grow and develop as people. We are fortunate to have a coach of his integrity and caliber leading our men's basketball program. He and his family are from the area and understand Texas values. They will be tremendous assets to this campus and community."
McCasland is an 18-year coaching veteran and arrives at North Texas after leading Arkansas State to a 20-win season for only the fourth time in ASU history. McCasland's career winning percentage is an eye-popping 80 percent. The 20-12 record during his inaugural season at ASU is a 10-win improvement, which is the second-best turnaround in NCAA Division I basketball this year. Under McCasland's guidance, the Red Wolves picked up eight non-conference wins over Division I opponents for the first time since 1990-91. McCasland has won 10 different coach of the year awards during his career.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to serve as the next head basketball coach at the University of North Texas," McCasland said. "I am honored by the confidence that both Vice President and director of athletics Wren Baker and President Neal Smatresk have demonstrated as we went through this process. Their commitment and vision for men's basketball at North Texas is inspiring and I look forward to working with them to build champions and prepare leaders with the young men we have in our program. We are going to strive daily for excellence in every aspect of our program, do things the right way, and establish a winning culture that values relationships throughout. Our family looks forward to joining Mean Green nation and I can't wait to get started in Denton."
Prior to Arkansas State, McCasland spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Baylor, helping lead the Bears to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Bears also won their first-ever postseason title in program history in 2013, capturing the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) championship. Prior to Baylor, he spent two seasons as head coach at Midwestern State and led the program to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. McCasland also has head coaching experience at the junior college level, leading Midland College to the 2007 NJCAA national championship.
Working on head coach Scott Drew's staff at Baylor, McCasland helped the Bears average 26 wins per year, posting a 125-55 record, including a 10-3 postseason mark. The Irving, Texas, native helped Baylor rise to national prominence with five 20-win seasons, five postseason appearances, the Big 12's first NIT championship and Baylor's first postseason tournament title in its 107-year history.
Before his stint at Baylor, McCasland spent two seasons as head coach at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, posting a combined 56-12 mark. In 2010-11, McCasland was named the Lone Star Conference South Division and National Association of Basketball Coaches South Region Coach of the Year after leading his Mustangs to a 25-9 mark, winning the NCAA Division II South Central Region title and reaching the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The previous season saw Midwestern State earn the LSC South Division title, the LSC Tournament championship, the NCAA Division II South Central Region championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
Prior to his tenure at Midwestern State, McCasland spent five successful seasons as head coach at Midland College, taking the reins of the program prior to the 2004-05 campaign. In his first season, Midland captured the Region V championship and earned a trip to the NJCAA Elite Eight. In the 2006-07 season, the Chaparalls finished 29-8 and won the national championship. In his final season in Midland (2008-09), the Chaps finished 33-4 and lost in the national championship game. McCasland ended his time at Midland with a record of 143-32.
Preceding his time at Midland College, McCasland was assistant coach at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, for two seasons. He began his coaching career in Lubbock, Texas, as the director of basketball operations at Texas Tech in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons.
A three-year letterman and four-year player at Baylor, McCasland earned Academic All-Big 12 honorable-mention honors as a senior. He graduated from Baylor in 1999 with a degree in entrepreneurship and management and received his master's degree from Texas Tech in 2001.
Grant and his wife Cece have four children: daughters Amaris and Jersey and sons Jett and Beckett.
There will be a meet-and-greet next week on Tuesday, March 21st at noon in The Union as North Texas welcomes Coach McCasland and his family to campus. More details will be released in the coming days.
· Family: Wife Cece; daughters Amaris and Jersey; sons Jett and Beckett
· 2009-10 NCAA Division II, Elite Eight (Midwestern State)
· 2010-11 NCAA Division II, Elite Eight (Midwestern State)
· 2011-12 NCAA, Elite Eight (Baylor)
· 2012-13 NIT, champions (Baylor)
· 2013-14 NCAA, Sweet 16 (Baylor)
· 2014-15 NCAA, first round (Baylor)
· 2015-16 NCAA, first round (Baylor)
What they are saying:
James Dickey, former head coach at Texas Tech & University of Houston - "Wren and the University of North Texas have made a great hire in Grant McCasland. Grant is a rising star in our profession and he has won at every level. Grant is a family man with high character. He has leadership, energy, enthusiasm, tireless work ethic and is a very productive recruiter. Grant will be a tremendous basketball coach and ambassador for UNT."
Dennis Lindsey, GM for the Utah Jazz - "The University of North Texas has just hired a rising star in the coaching business in Grant McCasland. Grant has deep contacts in the southwest, and with him being a native son to Texas, has the relationships you need to be successful long-term at the University of North Texas. More importantly, Grant is a faith and values based man who will be able to lead his staff and players in the right direction. My son was recruited by and played for Grant when he was an assistant coach at Baylor University. Neither Jake or I am surprised at Grant's success or new appointment. The Lindsey family wishes Grant and the University of North Texas men's basketball program the best of luck!"
John Underwood, Big 12 Associate Commissioner - "Grant McCasland has been successful at every level he has coached and will be a terrific ambassador for the University of North Texas, the basketball program and the city of Denton. He has a tremendous work ethic, which will translate into a winning program in a short period of time."
Scott Drew, head coach at Baylor - "Grant McCasland to North Texas is a home run. Coach McCasland is a tremendous coach and an even better person. He will be outstanding as North Texas head basketball coach."
Join @Evan @Harry and @BeyondTheGreen as they take a look back at the 2017 North Texas Football signing class. Special guest and Denton Record Chronicle Beat Writer @Brett Vito as well as UNT recruiting guru @TheReal_jayD share their latest thoughts and updates on this new class as well as impending coaching changes and other UNT sports news.
Click here to listen to the show: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/podcast/barbershop-podcast-178
Join @Evan @Harry GMG.com recruiting guru @TheReal_jayD and Denton Record Chronicle beatwriter @Brett Vito as they delve into the the 2017 Mean Green Football signing day class which will be finalized on this Wednesday. This is a very important signing class and we will go over the commitments as well as discuss some possible last minute surprises.
Click here for audio link: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/podcast/barbershop-podcast-177
Join @Evan @Harry and @BeyondTheGreen as they talk about the Heart of Dallas bowl game against Army and welcome a special guest in UNT Athletic Director Wren Baker. This weeks episode includes but is not limited to the following: Bowl discussion, UNT athletic department update, Beyond the Green, as well as @TheReal_jayD who shares his latest updates on UNT football recruiting.
Click here to listen to the show: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/podcast/barbershop-podcast-176
Join @Evan @Harry and @BeyondTheGreen as they talk about the upcoming Heart of Dallas bowl game against Army. This weeks episode includes but is not limited to the following: Bowl discussion, recruiting, Beyond the Green, special guest Denton Record Chronicle Beat Writer @Brett Vito; as well as @TheReal_jayD who shares his latest updates on UNT recruiting.
Click here to listen to the show: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/podcast/barbershop-podcast-175
The Mean Green, in their first year under rookie head coach Seth Littrell, made one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation, going from 1-11 in 2015 to 5-7 in 2016. Although North Texas was one win short of the six-win threshold for bowl eligibility, a lack of bowl-eligible teams across the country forced the NCAA to allow a handful of five-win teams to play in bowls, and the selections were based on Academic Progress Rate scores. Among the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, North Texas is 10th in APR and is second among teams not bowl eligible.
Bowl-game tickets are on sale now through the North Texas Ticket Office.
This will be the ninth bowl game in North Texas history and the first since the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl, when the Mean Green defeated UNLV, 36-14. It will be the sixth bowl game for NT in the last 16 years.
Littrell becomes the second Mean Green coach to take North Texas to a bowl game in his first year at the reins, and he does so on the 70th anniversary of the first rookie coach to lead NT to a bowl. In 1946, Odus Mitchell directed North Texas to the first bowl in school history and scored a 14-13 victory over College of the Pacific in the Optimist Bowl in Houston. Pacific was coached by the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg, who, along with men like Knute Rockne and Pop Warner, was one of the pioneers and great innovators of college football.
This will be the Mean Green's second game against Army this year. On Oct. 22, North Texas defeated the Black Knights in West Point, NY, 35-18. This will be the sixth meeting all-time between North Texas and Army, and the Mean Green are slated to host Army at Apogee Stadium in 2017.
Join @Evan @Harry and @BeyondTheGreen as they talk about the TOUGH loss against UTEP, and of course the upcoming important bowl invitation yet to be determined. This weeks episode includes but is not limited to the following: UTEP Recap, Bowl possibilities, APR, Beyond the Green show previews, special guest Denton Record Chronicle Beat Writer @Brett Vito; as well as @TheReal_jayD who shares his thoughts on recruiting.
Click here to listen to the show: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/podcast/barbershop-podcast-714
Rough week no doubt -- but we're still 4-6 and in the bowl hunt! Am I right? Join @Evan @Harry and @BeyondTheGreen as they talk about the TOUGH loss against WKU (good team), and of course the upcoming important conference home game against Southern Miss. This weeks episode includes but is not limited to the following: Beyond the Green show previews, special guest Denton Record Chronicle Beat Writer @Brett Vito; as well as @TheReal_jayD who shares his thoughts on two new big commits and special guest @DallasGreen.
Click here to listen to the show: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/barbershop-podcast-173
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Click here to listen to the show: http://gomeangreenbarbershop.libsyn.com/barbershop-podcast-172