North Texas hires Grant McCasland as new head basketball coach

North Texas athletic director Wren Baker introduced Grant McCasland as the new men's basketball head coach Monday afternoon. Baker announced the hire on a video posted to his personal Twitter account 


McCasland will be the 18th head coach in program history, and takes over for Tony Benford, who was relieved of his coaching duties last weekend. The Mean Green posted an 8-22 record this season and failed to qualify for the Conference USA postseason tournament.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to serve as the next head basketball coach at the University of North Texas,” McCasland said in a press release. "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."

McCasland served as the head coach at Arkansas State University last season where he led the Red Wolves to a 20-12 record. Prior to Arkansas State, McCasland coached at Midwestern State, leading the Mustangs to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in Division II.

McCasland also has experience at the junior college level, leading Midland College to a national championship in 2007.

"Coach McCasland is a rising superstar in college basketball and possesses all of the qualities we desired when we began our search," Baker said in a press release. "He has been successful at every step of his career. He’s a proven coach and recruiter, but most importantly, has demonstrated the ability to help young men grow and develop as people."

From 2011-2016, McCasland served as an assistant on the Baylor staff under head coach Scott Drew, and helped the Bears reach NCAA tournament appearances in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The Mean Green never had a season above .500 in the Tony Benford era, and won only one conference tournament game in the past five years.

McCasland is an Irving native with ties to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. His all-time coaching record is 219-56, good enough for a winning percentage of 79.6 percent.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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