Georgia on Thursday night confirmed a report from earlier in the day by DawgNation’s Seth Emerson that Tom Crean is indeed the Bulldogs’ new basketball coach.
Crean has 18 years of coaching experience — nine seasons each at Marquette and Indiana. His 2002-03 Golden Eagles squad, led by Dwyane Wade, reached the Final Four. At Indiana, he went to three Sweet 16s and won two Big Ten regular-season titles. He has a 356-231 career record.
“Tom Crean is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball over the past two decades,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said in a news release. “His teams have consistently been participants in postseason play, and his players have been extremely successful in the classroom. He’s going to be a great fit for the University of Georgia. I’m extremely excited to have him leading Georgia Basketball into the future and to welcome his family into the Bulldog Nation.”
Crean has spent this season working as an ESPN analyst, both working in the studio and calling games.
“I am honored and humbled to join the University of Georgia family,” Crean said. “I am sincerely grateful to President [Jere W.] Morehead and Greg McGarity for an incredible opportunity. Make no mistake, this is a basketball program inside of a great university that can compete for championships doing it the right way. We will work diligently and with great energy to make everyone associated with the University of Georgia very proud of our efforts. We’re going to need everyone in the Bulldog Nation to help us to create the energy and excitement that will take Georgia to the highest levels of success.”
Crean replaces Mark Fox, who was fired on Saturday after nine seasons. Georgia went 18-15 this season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. Georgia has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2002, and that victory was vacated because of rules violations under Jim Harrick. The last non-vacated tournament victory for Georgia came in 1996.
Georgia will introduce Crean at a news conference at 3 p.m. ET on Friday.