McCasland blog

North Texas coach Grant McCasland watches his team play UAB at the Super Pit earlier this season. McCasland's name has come up in connection with jobs at Texas Tech and Oklahoma. 

North Texas is in an unfamiliar spot when it comes to its basketball program.

UNT is fresh off its first NCAA tournament win ever, thanks largely to Grant McCasland, the coach who built the Mean Green from up from the ashes of a an eight-win season of 2016-17.

The only downside to becoming a national story is a whole lot of other people notice, particularly those at schools that are looking for a new coach.

Oklahoma found itself in that spot when Lon Kruger retired after an illustrious career. Texas Tech followed today when Chris Beard left for Texas. 

McCasland is reportedly on the list of candidates for both schools.

That's not a surprise.

He makes a lot of sense for both programs, particularly for Texas Tech. McCasland began his career at the director of operations for the Red Raiders back in 1999. His wife, CeCe, played soccer for the Red Raiders.

McCasland has spent his entire career in Texas outside of a season at Arkansas State in 2016-17 and a couple of years at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado from 2001-03.

Oklahoma doesn't make quite as much sense from a background standpoint, but it is the type of step-up job that would be appealing to any coach at a mid-major program.

The question now is if the either school will put an offer on the table. 

If they do, it appears highly unlikely UNT would be able to hang on to McCasland, despite the best efforts of athletic director Wren Baker. 

And let's be clear, Baker has done a ton. 

McCasland said as much after he signed a contract extension that runs through the 2025-26 season this year.

“Wren has a great plan of how to grow a program,” McCasland said. “It’s not just about compensating the head coach. It’s about the program. That is a bigger priority to me. If our program is in the right place, we will be successful, which will benefit everybody.”

McCasland, who is 79-51 in four seasons at UNT, is set to make $550,000 in base salary with guaranteed incentives that will push the total value of the deal past $760,000 annually.

UNT is looking at reworking the deal that was finalized before the Mean Green made their run to the Conference USA tournament title and beat Purdue in the opening record of the NCAA tournament. 

The school has renovated UNT's locker room, team room and training room, adding to what McCasland has to work with.

McCasland's entire family lives within 45 minutes of the Super Pit.

Will that be enough to keep him in Denton?

UNT will have to hope because if Texas Tech or Oklahoma come calling, the school won't have the money to outbid either school.

Will it come to that? 

Waiting to see isn't a particularly comfortable spot for anyone at UNT, from the school's administration to its fans. 

It comes with the territory when your coach lands on the national radar. 

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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