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DENTON (105.3 The Fan) – North Texas has found their next basketball coach to take over for the recently ousted, Tony Benford.

According to the Vice President and director of athletics Wren Baker, they’ve settled on Arkansas State head coach Grant McCasland as the 18th coach in the program’s history.

“I am excited to welcome Grant McCasland as our 18th head men’s basketball coach,” Baker said. “Coach McCasland is a rising superstar in college basketball and possesses all of the qualities we desired when we began our search. He has been successful at every step of his career. He’s a proven coach and recruiter, but most importantly, he has demonstrated the ability to help young men grow and develop as people. We are fortunate to have a coach of his integrity and caliber leading our men’s basketball program. He and his family are from the area and understand Texas values. They will be tremendous assets to this campus and community.”

McCasland arrives at North Texas after leading Arkansas State to a 20-win season for only the fourth time in ASU history. The 20-12 record during his first and only season at ASU is a 10-win improvement, which is the second-best turnaround in NCAA Division I basketball this year.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to serve as the next head basketball coach at the University of North Texas,” McCasland said. “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. Their commitment and vision for men’s basketball at North Texas is inspiring and I look forward to working with them to build champions and prepare leaders with the young men we have in our program. We are going to strive daily for excellence in every aspect of our program, do things the right way, and establish a winning culture that values relationships throughout. Our family looks forward to joining Mean Green nation and I can’t wait to get started in Denton.”

McCasland takes over a North Texas program that went 8-22 this past season, their worst since going 7-21 in the 2002-2003 campaign.

Prior to Arkansas State, McCasland spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Baylor under Scott Drew. 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.

McCasland has an undergraduate degree from Baylor and a master’s degree from Texas Tech.