Assistant basketball coach accepts head coaching job at Arkansas State

Head coach Scott Drew and assistant coach Grant McCasland (right) look on during the Bears’ game against Oklahoma on Jan. 24, 2015, at the Ferrell Center. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

Baylor men’s basketball assistant coach Grant McCasland has accepted an offer to become the next head basketball coach at Arkansas State.

McCasland was introduced as the head coach of the Red Wolves at a press conference Wednesday morning.

“I’m honored and blessed to be the basketball coach at A-State,” McCasland said. “I’m excited to get started and excited about building a winning culture.”

McCasland played college basketball at Baylor for four years under head coach Harry Miller and earned Academic All Big 12 honors his senior year in 1999.

Before joining the Baylor staff, McCasland served as the head coach of Midland College in Texas from 2004-09.

He led the Chaps to the Elite Eight in his first season at the helm before winning a national championship in the 2006-07 season. In his final season with Midland, McCasland’s team made it all the way back to the national title game but came up short.

McCasland then accepted an offer to become the head coach at Midwestern College, where he led the Mustangs to an Elite Eight in his inaugural 2009-10 season. The Mustangs advanced to the Elite Eight again the next year before losing to eventual champion Bellarmine.

McCasland then moved on to become the head coach at Abilene Christian for just two months before joining Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears.

Prior to his time at Baylor, McCasland posted a 199-44 record as a head coach.

“Grant McCasland has proven himself as an outstanding coach and recruiter, winning on many levels,” Arkansas State director of athletics Terry Mohair said. “He is coming from a program that carried out one of the nation’s biggest turnarounds and then sustained its success.”

In his first season as an assistant for the Bears, Baylor compiled a school-record 30 wins and reached the Elite Eight for just the second time in school history.

Since then, the Bears have won the NIT championship and made the NCAA Tournament three years in a row for the first time in program history.

McCasland will replace John Brady, who announced he would resign midway through the season. Brady posted a 121-128 record in eight seasons at Arkansas State.

The Red Wolves finished this season 11-20 and haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1999. Additionally, Arkansas State hasn’t experienced a winning season in two years.

“Coach McCasland is a proven winner,” Drew said. “He has won wherever he’s been, and I know he will have the same success at Arkansas State. In addition to being a home-run hire on the court, Coach Mac is a great man and a great leader, and he will be a major asset on the campus and in the community. He will truly be missed at Baylor.”

McCasland will be with the Bears as they compete in the NCAA Tournament before turning his attention to his new team.