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March 31, 2006

McDermott will lead Cyclone basketball team

by Diana Pounds

Greg McDermott was named head men's basketball coach during a press conference in Hilton Coliseum last week. In five seasons at the University of Northern Iowa, McDermott has taken the UNI Panthers to three consecutive NCAA tourneys.

Coach McDermott

Athletics director Jamie Pollard (seated, left) introduced new head men's basketball coach Greg McDermott to Cyclone fans at Hilton on March 21. Photo by Gary Clarke.

"This is a great place and I'm looking forward to a great career here, McDermott told fans who'd gathered in Hilton for the announcement. "We'll bring the magic back to Hilton."

The 41-year-old McDermott compiled a 90-63 record at UNI and has a 221-127 career mark.

In his first head coaching job (1995-2000) at Wayne State, Nebraska, McDermott led the Wildcats to four straight 20-win seasons, a conference title and a pair of NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. He won conference coach of the year honors in 2000.

He took over the coaching duties at North Dakota State for one season (2000-01) before heading to Cedar Falls.

Athletics director Jamie Pollard said he sought (and found in McDermott) "a coach who can inspire passion, teach the game of basketball, sell a program to recruits and fans, educate his student-athletes tirelessly, connect with Iowans and build a total program that rivals anyone in the Big 12 Conference and the nation."

Former ISU head coach Wayne Morgan was relieved of his duties March 17 after three years with the Cyclones. Pollard said after assessing the overall direction of the men's basketball program, he did not believe the coaching staff could "sustain the level of performance required for our athletic program to achieve its goals."

Morgan compiled a 55-39 overall mark at Iowa State, including a 22-26 ledger in Big 12 play.


Iowa native Greg McDermott succeeds Wayne Morgan as head coach of the Cyclone men's basketball team.