Lanier Out As SMU Basketball Coach

CINCINNATI, OHIO - MARCH 05: Head coach Rob Lanier of the SMU Mustangs looks on in the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Fifth Third Arena on March 05, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. | Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

SMU is parting ways with head men’s basketball coach Rob Lanier after two seasons.

The university announced the decision on Thursday afternoon, following a Wednesday night loss to Indiana State in the NIT.

“We want to thank Rob [Lanier] and his staff for their positive contributions to SMU and our men’s basketball program these past two seasons,” a statement from Athletic Director Rick Hart read. “They always operated with integrity and in the best interests of the University and our student-athletes. We wish them and their families all the best in the future.”

Lanier joined SMU in 2022 after three seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance at Georgia State, replacing Tim Jankovich. He spent time as an assistant with power programs like Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Virginia before Georgia State.

The Mustangs won just 10 games in his first season at the helm but improved enough to double their win total and make a postseason tournament for the first time since 2017. However, the season ended with a seven-game losing streak, and university leadership decided to make a change ahead of its move to the ACC.

“The investments we have made in support of SMU Basketball, combined with membership in the country’s preeminent college basketball conference, the value of an SMU degree, our location in the heart of Dallas, Texas, our championship-caliber facilities, the NIL opportunities available to our student-athletes and SMU’s commitment to comprehensive excellence position us to compete alongside the nation’s best programs,” Hart continued. “Our focus now turns to finding a new leader as we prepare for the next era of SMU Athletics in the ACC.”

The SMU Athletic Department has said a national search for a replacement will begin immediately, and national basketball insider Jeff Goodman says SMU is looking to land a big name — singling out Arkansas’ Eric Musselman and former SMU assistant Steve Lutz, who has taken both Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Western Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament.

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