Smart Posts Team-High 26 Points, Six Three-Pointers
After Hot Start, UNT Goes Cold Down Stretch In Loss
Four Starters Scored In Double-Figures
Cornhuskers Outscored Mean Green 52-30 In First Half
North Texas Looking To Start 2-0
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 was a 10-win improvement, which was 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.
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.
Baylor’s 2015-16 squad finished 22-12 for a school-record fifth consecutive 20-win season, and the Bears earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, marking a school-record third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. BU finished the season ranked No. 21 in the AP poll, the fourth-highest final ranking in program history, and Baylor was one of 13 teams to remain ranked in the coaches’ poll throughout the entire season, climbing as high as No. 13 nationally.
During 2014-15, the Bears went 24-10 and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, tying the best seed in program history and recorded the program’s first-ever back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. It was the program’s seventh 20-win season in the previous eight years, accounting for all but three of the 20-win seasons in school history. A school-record seven of Baylor’s 24 wins came against top-25 ranked teams during the 2014-15 campaign.
Baylor became one of just 12 teams nationally to reach three Sweet 16s in a five-year span (2010-14) with a late season surge that saw the Bears reach the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Bears advanced to the Big 12 Championship title game and posted 26 wins in the 2013-14 season.
The 2012-13 season saw Baylor become the first Big 12 team to claim a NIT title. The Bears won five straight that culminated with a 20-point win over Iowa in the championship game. In his first season with the Bears (2011-12), McCasland helped the squad to a school-record 30 wins and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament South Region Final, the second in three seasons. Baylor was ranked throughout the season, a first in program history, reaching as high as No. 3 in the polls while not falling below 14th.
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 2006-07 season, the Chaps 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, Colo., 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.
• Family: Wife Cece; daughters Amaris and Jersey; sons Jett and Beckett
• College: Baylor, 1999 (B.S.); Texas Tech, 2001 (M.S.)
• 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-pres. North Texas, head coach
• 2004-05 NJCAA, Elite Eight (Midland)
• 2006-07 NJCAA, national champions (Midland)
• 2008-09 NJCAA, finals (Midland)
• 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)