On March 15th, 2016, Grant McCasland was named the head coach of the Arkansas State Men's Basketball team.
He didn't last a full year.
It was announced on Monday that McCasland had accepted an offer to become the new head coach at the University of North Texas.
In his first year with the team, McCasland helped turn around the A-State program, winning 20 games, tied for the most in program history.
According to A-State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir, North Texas reached out to A-State about coach McCasland last Friday and then officially made McCasland an offer on Monday morning, which he accepted.
Also according to Mohajir, the offer from North Texas was a significant amount.
"This is no slam on the school he is going to, I told the AD the same thing, I'm surprised about the money," Mohajir said.
In addition to the salary North Texas will provide to McCasland, the school also has to pay the buyout of $500,000 according to McCasland's contract.
North Texas must send the money to A-State within 20 business days.
Mohajir did not disclose the details of the offer from North Texas but did mention that about a week and a half ago he offered McCasland a new contract which added an additional year, and offered a pay bump to $400,000.
While McCasland did receive a pay increase at North Texas, Mohajir said that was not the reason McCasland left Arkansas State.
Mohajir said McCasland wanted to be closer to the family he has in Texas, and that was the primary reason for accepting the offer from North Texas.
Now the coaching search is on, and Mohajir now turns his attention to finding McCasland's replacement, but now may not be the ideal time.
"A lot of the guys I know will be candidates will be playing in the NCAA tournament," Mohajir said. "So that's going to be a little bit of a challenge."
Still, Mohajir feels like A-State is a competitive job for potential head coaching candidates:
"Anybody that wants to be here and be at Arkansas State and wants to lead these young men, I'm interested in them. If you want to be a head coach to just be a head coach, this is not your place. This is not the place for you. If you want to coach, you want to win, want to lead young men then this is the place. We have all the attributes to be successful. I believe we are a top three job in this league, without question. I think we have all the intangibles and the administration, the leadership, the resources to be in the NCAA Tournament and there is no reason why we can't do that."
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