|Grant McCasland Bio|
Grant McCasland was named the 15th head coach in Arkansas State's history on March 16, 2016.
A 17-year coaching veteran, McCasland holds a 199-44 (.819) record as a head coach at the junior college and NCAA Division II levels.
McCasland spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Baylor, helping lead the Bears to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Prior to Baylor, he spent two seasons as the 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 has 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.
In his final season at Baylor he helped lead the club to a program best third straight NCAA Tournament apperance. The Bears posted a 22-11 mark this season, playing 18 games against teams that are in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
During the 2014-15 season 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 seasons 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 five-year stint at Baylor, McCasland spent two seasons as head coach at Midwestern State (Texas), posting a combined 56-12 mark. In the 2010-11 season, McCasland, the Lone Star Conference (LSC) South Division and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) South Region Coach of the Year, saw his Mustangs finish 25-9, win the NCAA Division II South Central Region title and reach the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The Mustangs were knocked out of the national tournament with a 70-64 loss to eventual champion Bellarmine. The previous season (2009-10) 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 the head coach at Midland (Texas) College, taking the reins of the program prior to the 2004-05 campaign. It didn’t take long to see the impact he made on the program as his first season as the head coach resulted in the Region V championship and trip to the NJCAA Elite Eight. In the 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 and McCasland ended his time at Midwestern State with a record of 143-32 while earning district, region and national coach of the year honors.
Preceding his time at Midland College, McCasland was the assistant coach at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., for two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03). He began his coaching career in Lubbock, Texas, where he served as the Director of Basketball Operations on James Dickey’s staff at Texas Tech in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons.
A three-year letterman and four-year player for head coach Harry Miller at Baylor, McCasland earned Academic All-Big 12 honorable mention honors in his senior campaign of 1998-99. 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.
What they are saying:
Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew
"Coach McCasland is a proven winner. 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."
James Dickey, Former Texas Tech head coach and current Oklahoma State assistant coach
“You ought to be ecstatic. He is a wonderful young man. I’m an old Arkansas guy and I know they love basketball in Northeast Arkansas. He will represent Arkansas State and make you all very proud. He is a quality young man with an infectious personality. I’d coached against him when he was a player, and I had watched him work my camp and observed how he conducted himself. I jumped at the chance to hire him to be a part of my team at Texas Tech. He has the whole package – a strong recruiter, great X’s and O’s, and he’ll be a community member. Grant and his family will be great representatives of and ambassadors for A-State basketball, the athletic department, the university, the city of Jonesboro and all of Northeast Arkansas.”
A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir
“Grant McCasland has proven himself as an outstanding coach and recruiter, winning on many levels. He is coming from a program that carried out one of the nation’s biggest turnarounds and then sustained its success. We have high expectations for our men’s basketball program, and we believe Coach McCasland has the skills, drive and determination to build a consistent championship-caliber program here at Arkansas State.”
Arkansas State System President Dr. Chuck Welch
“I knew within minutes of meeting Coach McCasland that he was the right person to lead our men’s basketball program. He has been a big-time winner at every level, and his energy, enthusiasm, and intensity are infectious. Our fans are going to love him and his family, and I have absolutely no doubt that he will elevate our program the right way and bring winning basketball to the Convo immediately.”