Georgia will hire Tom Crean as head coach

Tom Crean is headed back to the college basketball sidelines a year removed from his firing at Indiana. Georgia announced Thursday the hiring of Crean as the Bulldogs head coach.

Crean has 356 career wins in 18 years as a Division I head coach (nine each at Indiana and Marquette). His Hoosier teams went to the Sweet Sixteen three times in his final six years following a length re-build of a program decimated by scandal. His time in Bloomington was marked by some of the highest highs and lowest lows in school history, though the latter can be attributed to his predecessor Kelvin Sampson. His 2013 team was ranked #1 in the country for much of the season and entered the NCAA Tournament as the top seed overall.

Known as an excellent recruiter and talent developer, Crean saw several of his IU players blossom into lottery picks and/or NBA players. Former Hoosier Victor Oladipo came to Bloomington as a 3-star recruit and left as the #2 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He was named to his first NBA All-Star team this season as a member of the Indiana Pacers.

He had a similar reputation at Marquette, where he coached future NBA players like Dwyane Wade, Travis Diener and Steve Novak. Wade, who led the Golden Eagles to the Final Four in 2003, was unheralded out of high school and credits Crean for his development as a player and person.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Thad Matta had been offered but ultimately turned down the job at Georgia. Both Crean’s and Matta’s names were mentioned with the Pitt and Georgia coaching searches from the start of each.

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