Western Carolina announced Tuesday the hiring of Justin Gray as its next head men’s basketball coach. Gray is a Charlotte-native who played at Wake Forest and spent the last two seasons on Pat Kelsey‘s staff at Winthrop.
“This search process afforded me the opportunity to speak with a number of people with recommendations for who our next men’s basketball head coach should be. When people spoke about Justin Gray, they simply said ‘he’s going to be a great head coach one day,'” AD Alex Gary said in a statement. “The universal respect for him as a leader, mentor, and a basketball mind provided me with no doubt in his ability to be successful here at Western Carolina University.”
Gray played for Skip Prosser, the father of former WCU head coach Mark Prosser, at Wake from 2002-06 before embarking on a 12-year professional career overseas. In his two years at Winthrop, he was a part of two Big South titles and one (would have been two) NCAA Tournament appearance.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be the next coach at Western Carolina University. The entire process has been a first-class operation,” said Gray on his selection. “I have always been an opportunistic person and when this door opened, I didn’t hesitate. I wanted to be here and I want to win. Western Carolina is ready for another run like 1996. That’s the ultimate goal, to compete for championships and help build young men with character while doing so. I along with my wife and kids are super excited about being here in Cullowhee.”
credit to Western Carolina Athletics for the image