A Better Region 8: A-State's athletics department defines resili - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

A Better Region 8: A-State's athletics department defines resiliency

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)

Just when we thought it was safe to fall in love with A-State Men’s Basketball Coach Grant McCasland… he’s gone!

As you heard on Region 8 Sports, McCasland has been hired by the North Texas Mean Green. 

It really shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The way the Red Wolves Men's team played this season, one could guess that something like this could happen. 

Coach McCasland led the Red Wolves to a 20-12 record and ended the season with an overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe in the Sun Belt Tournament.

That’s quite an accomplishment for his first and last season as head coach. It's actually a testament to Arkansas State University and its athletics program. 

This is the school that had 5 football coaches in as many years. 3 of them went on to bigger jobs with bigger paychecks.

In that process, Blake Anderson came along. Anderson looks to be invested in the football program, his players, the university and the A-State fans of Region 8 and beyond.

Let’s hope the next basketball coach follows his lead.

To the basketball players who gave so much and worked so hard this season, I say look on the bright side, hang in there and know you did a great job this year. You are responsible for putting the fire back into A-State Basketball.

All is not lost.

By accepting a $500,000 buyout to get McCasland out of his contract, A-State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir now has the money to go out and find a great basketball coach who actually wants to be here, and who will be around long enough to recruit and build a long-term rapport with the athletes and the fans.

The silver lining is that the athletics program at A-State can teach us all a lesson in resilience.

Accepting that change can be good and not losing faith makes this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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