(from Texas Tech Athletics)
LUBBOCK, Texas – A proven winner who began his career as the Texas Tech men’s basketball Director of Operations from 1999-2001, Grant McCasland is returning to Lubbock as the 19th head coach in Red Raider history after stacking success at various levels for nearly 25 years. Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt announced the hiring along with a six-year contract on Friday.
McCasland will be formally introduced at a welcoming ceremony which is open to the public at 4 p.m. on Monday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
“I want to thank President Lawrence Schovanec and Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt, and the committee for the opportunity to coach at Texas Tech,” McCasland said. “The commitment and vision for Texas Tech have no limits, and we look forward to loving our team every day with a greater purpose. We will strive daily for excellence in every aspect of our program, do things the right way, winning championships that value relationships throughout. Our family looks forward to joining the Red Raider nation and can’t wait to get started in Lubbock.”
Most recently at the University of North Texas for six seasons, McCasland is 211-89 as a head coach after leading the Mean Green to a 31-7 record this season and the National Invitation Tournament Championship. His teams have led the nation in scoring defense the past two seasons after limiting opponents to just 55.7 points per game in both seasons. UNT held 27 of its 38 opponents under 60 points this season.
“We’re excited to welcome in the next era of Red Raider Basketball under the leadership of Coach McCasland,” Hocutt said. “This position received tremendous interest nationally as we firmly believe this program is one of the best jobs in college basketball. Our search committee was immediately impressed not only by Coach McCasland and his ability to win at every level of college basketball, all while creating a positive culture built upon toughness, but also by his passion for Texas Tech and his vision for our basketball program. We are pleased to welcome Coach McCasland, his wife, Cece, and their entire family back home to Texas Tech.”
McCasland started his coaching career as the Texas Tech Director of Operations for two seasons under head coach James Dickey and took his first head coaching job at Midland College, where he would win an NJCAA National Championship in 2007. The Red Raiders will be the 46-year-old McCasland’s fifth head coaching job in a journey back to Texas Tech, which includes leading Midland College from 2004-09, two years as the head coach at Midwestern State (2009-11), five seasons as an assistant coach at Baylor (2011-16), and one as the head coach at Arkansas State (2016-17) before amassing an impressive 135-65 (.675) record at UNT.
Texas Tech has advanced to four of the past five NCAA Tournaments, including reaching the 2018 Elite 8, 2019 NCAA Championship Final, 2021 NCAA Tournament Second Round and 2022 Sweet 16. The Red Raiders have a 117-22 home record over the past eight seasons and are coming off a year where the program averaged 13,222 fans per game, ranking No. 1 throughout the state of Texas, third in the Big 12 and 21st nationally.
An Irving, Texas native, McCasland is a Baylor graduate who played for the Bears from 1995-99 as a walk-on. He earned Academic All-Big 12 honorable-mention honors as a senior and graduated from Baylor in 1999 with a degree in entrepreneurship and management before getting his master’s from Texas Tech in 2001.
At North Texas, McCasland led the Mean Green to three straight Conference USA titles (2020, 2021, 2022), their first NCAA Tournament victory, first NIT victories, most single-season victories, and most single-season league victories in program history, among other achievements. Along with leading the nation by limiting teams to only 55.7 points per game, UNT ranked seventh nationally by holding opponents to 39.2 percent shooting.
During his final season in Denton, McCasland led UNT to a program-record 31 wins after winning the 2023 NIT Championship with a 68-61 victory over UAB in Las Vegas. The Mean Green was second in the C-USA standings with a 16-4 conference record and a 14-2 record on their home court. The program advanced to the NIT Finals with wins over Alcorn State, Sam Houston, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin to set up its matchup against UAB. The Mean Green earned the postseason championship by jumping out to a 37-27 halftime lead and limiting UAB to only 35.6 shooting throughout the night – capping the season with another dominant defensive performance. The Mean Green reached the NIT finals with a 56-54 win over Wisconsin in the semifinals by holding the Badgers scoreless over the final nine minutes of play and to only 13 second-half points. UNT trailed 41-29 at halftime before locking down on defense and limiting Wisconsin to only 24.0 percent shooting in the second half, with its final basket coming with 9:07 still on the clock.
McCasland was named the 2020 C-USA Coach of the Year and has recruited and led UNT men’s basketball student-athletes to 19 all-league honors, including two Conference USA Player of the Year selections in Javion Hamlet (2020) and Tylor Perry (2023). The Mean Green won the C-USA regular-season championship in 2020 and 2022 and the C-USA Tournament in 2021. He led UNT to a 12-3 record in postseason games, as the program had never won a postseason game before his arrival.
Under McCasland, UNT won its first NCAA Tournament game in program history with a 78-69 overtime victory over Purdue on March 19, 2021. It was the program’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament and its first since 2010. They earned their highest ever seeding in an NCAA Tournament with a No. 13 seed, and their victory over the No. 20-ranked Boilermakers was their first AP Top 25 win since 1972. They earned the bid into the NCAA Tournament after securing the 2021 C-USA Tournament championship. The Mean Green won four games in four days to win their first league tournament title in 11 years and their first since joining C-USA.
In 2021-22, North Texas had established the previous program record for wins after a 25-7 season. UNT won the 2022 C-USA West Division title with a 16-2 record. From Jan. 8-March 3, UNT won a program record 15 straight games in route to the 2022 C-USA Division title. The team led the nation during the season in scoring defense after holding opponents to an average of 55.7 points per game, which was also a Conference USA record. McCasland led UNT to a 20-18 record in his first season (2017-18) in Denton. The 20 wins in his first season were 12 more than the previous year for the Mean Green. That season, UNT set the school record for most points scored in a season (2,828) and most 3-pointers made in a season (302).
McCasland was the head coach at Arkansas State during the 2016-17 season, where he led ASU to a 20-12 overall record before taking the UNT job. At ASU, McCasland led the program to a 10-win improvement, which was the second-best turnaround in Division I basketball that season. Prior to Arkansas State, McCasland was the head coach at Midwestern State from 2009-11, where he owned a 56-12 (.823) career record and led MSU to back-to-back NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances.
Prior to Arkansas State, McCasland spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Baylor under head coach Scott Drew. The Bears made 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.
At Midwestern State, he led the Mustangs to a 31-3 record in 2009-10 and a 25-9 mark the next season. Both seasons resulted in Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. McCasland started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, before being named the head coach at Midland College when he was only 27. His Chaparrals won the 2007 NJCAA National Championship and saw six players earn a DI scholarship. He would also lead the program to the 2009 NJCAA finals before taking the position at Midwestern State and continuing his ascent in collegiate coaching.
While at Tech, McCasland met his wife Cece (Dillon), who was a former soccer player for the Red Raiders. Grant and Cece have four children: daughters Amaris and Jersey and sons Jett and Beckett.
COACHING EXPERIENCE (23 seasons)
1999-2001: Texas Tech, director of operations
2001-03: Northeastern JC, assistant coach
2004-09: Midland College, head coach
2009-11: Midwestern State, head coach
2011-16: Baylor, assistant coach
2016-17: Arkansas State, head coach
2017-23: North Texas, head coach
HEAD COACHING RECORDS (211-89 overall, 155-77 DI)
2009-10: Midwestern State; 31-3, 10-2 LSC
2010-11: Midwestern State; 25-9, 9-5 LSC
2016-17: Arkansas State; 20-12, 11-7 SBC
2017-18: North Texas; 20-18, 8-10 C-USA
2018-19: North Texas; 21-12, 8-10 C-USA
2019-20: North Texas; 20-11, 14-4 C-USA
2020-21: North Texas; 18-10, 9-5 C-USA
2021-22: North Texas; 25-7, 16-2 C-USA
2022-23: North Texas; 31-7, 16-4 C-USA
Hometown: Irving, Texas
Family: Wife, Cece; daughters, Amaris and Jersey; sons, Jett and Beckett
Irving High, 1994; Baylor, 1999 (B.S.); Texas Tech, 2001 (M.S.)
McCASLAND CAREER ACCOLADES INCLUDE
- 211 career wins with a 70.3 career win percentage
- Coached the nation’s leading scoring defense the past two seasons (55.7 ppg. both seasons)
- 2023 NIT Champion
- 2020 C-USA Coach of the Year
- Three straight C-USA championship titles
- C-USA Tournament Champion in 2021
- Two-time C-USA regular-season champion (2020, 2022)
- Led UNT to win over Purdue in 2021 NCAA Tournament; First NCAA Tournament win in UNT history
- Has coached eight teams to 20+plus win seasons
- Tech is fifth head coaching position; he Returns to Lubbock after starting a career at Tech.
- Worked under head coach James Dickey for two seasons at Tech
- Assistant coach at Baylor under head coach Scott Drew
- Took first head coaching job at Midland College when he was 27 years old
- Led Midland College to the 2007 NJCAA National Championship
- In first season at Arkansas State led a 10-win improvement from the previous season
- In first season at UNT led a 12-win improvement from the previous season
- Played at Baylor from 1995-99 under head coach Harry Miller
- Earned Academic All-Big 12 honorable mention as a senior
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT GRANT McCASLAND
Kirby Hocutt | Texas Tech Director of Athletics
“We’re excited to welcome in the next era of Red Raider Basketball under the leadership of Coach McCasland. This position received tremendous interest nationally as we firmly believe this program is one of the best jobs in college basketball. Our search committee was immediately impressed not only by Coach McCasland and his ability to win at every level of college basketball, all while creating a positive culture built upon toughness, but also by his passion for Texas Tech and his vision for our basketball program. We are pleased to welcome Coach McCasland, his wife, Cece, and their entire family back home to Texas Tech.”
Dusty Womble | Texas Tech Board of Regents & Hiring Committee Member
“You only need to watch five minutes of his game film to realize he motivates his players to play hard. If you watch a few minutes of their postgame interviews, you develop an appreciation for the great relationships he has built with his players. I couldn’t be happier to have Grant leading our program.”
Joey McGuire | Texas Tech Head Football Coach & Hiring Committee Member
“I’m thrilled Grant McCasland has agreed to become our new men’s basketball coach. To put it simply, he’s one of us. Red Raiders are going to love the toughness and grit his teams will play with each and every night. That’s his philosophy and who he is as a person. From the first moment he met with our committee, you could tell he has a passion for this university that will make the top basketball athletes in the country want to wear the scarlet and black. In fact, I was ready to offer him on the spot as he’s the exact type of coach I want on my staff. Debbie and I are excited to welcome him and his family back to Texas Tech and part of the Red Raider family.”
Norense Odiase | Former Texas Tech Basketball Student-Athlete (2014-19) & Hiring Committee Member
“What impressed me most about Coach McCasland is his vision and expectations. He talked about winning championships. That was important for me to hear because we have a standard of excellence at Tech that will not be lowered. For him to embrace it and say that was important to me. He wants it more than he’s afraid of it. I think it gets everyone involved when a leader has that expectation from the first day. He talked about the community and building relationships and how that was really important to him. Getting everyone involved. He understands the position and West Texas. He knows the grit and toughness that we have. I like a lot about him and know that he is a leader who is competitive and hungry because of the vision he has. I’m excited about the tenure under him.”
Scott Drew | Baylor Head Coach
“I am thrilled for Coach McCasland, his family and Texas Tech. He has worked tremendously hard throughout his career, preparing for this moment, and experiencing great success at every stop along the way. Winning a Junior College National Championship at Midland College, he knows what it takes to be successful in West Texas. I have no doubt he will be an asset to our conference, Texas Tech and the West Texas region as a whole.”
James Dickey | Former Texas Tech Head Coach
“He was very bright and eager when he joined our staff and has become a great coach throughout his career. He was energetic and hardworking from the start. He was a student of the game and brought great enthusiasm with him every day. I’ve been impressed by Grant because his teams get better every year. Grant and his family will be tremendous additions to the Texas Tech basketball program, the athletic department, the university, and the Lubbock community.”
Fran Fraschilla | ESPN College Basketball Analyst
“Grant McCasland is one of the top young coaches in college basketball. He has proven that at every stop. He is uniquely qualified to be the coach of Texas Tech because of his deep ties to the state of Texas and to the South Plains. His coaching ability, his character and his family values will shine through in Lubbock.”
Wes Kittley | Texas Tech Director of Track & Field and Cross Country
“First of all, and most importantly, Grant is a great person. I have known Grant for over 20 years. He has been a winner at all levels his whole life. He has won at the JC level, Division 2, been an assistant on a winning Division 1 program and coached winning Division 1 programs. What you will like about Grant is he is humble but hungry. He has his priorities of life in order and he’s been a builder of men his whole career. He will love his guys and get the best out of them. Character and toughness will be seen by all of us Red Raiders.”