While the University of South Florida women's team prepares to play in the NCAA tournament for the third straight season, the men's team has hired its third basketball coach this year.
Brian Gregory, a longtime assistant coach at Michigan State University and the former head coach for Dayton and Georgia Tech, was named USF's head coach Tuesday.
ESPN reports Gregory, 50, signed a six-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.
"Brian brings vast head coaching experience to USF, a passion for coaching and mentoring student-athletes and a track record of leading successful programs," athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. "He has been a part of championship winning programs as a player, assistant coach and head coach and has built a very strong reputation as a tireless recruiter, skilled tactician and a coach who cares deeply about his players and graduating them. Brian will lead USF men's basketball to a very exciting future."
Gregory was an assistant coach for 13 years, including three separate tenures at Michigan State. During his time there, MSU went to two NCAA Final Fours, winning the 2000 NCAA Championship. He also was an assistant coach at Northwestern and Toledo, and was most recently serving as consultant to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
Gregory was head coach of Dayton from 2003-11, posting a 172-94 record. His eight seasons there included five twenty win seasons, two NCAA tournament appearances and three NIT appearances, including a championship in 2009-10.
He was then hired to coach Georgia Tech, where he posted a 76-86 record in five years. The Yellow Jackets made just one postseason appearance under Gregory, making the NIT quarterfinals in 2015-16, his final season there.
“I would like to thank President Judy Genshaft and Mark Harlan for the tremendous opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program at USF,” Gregory said. “I am very excited to get to work, to talk with the players and to meet Bulls Nation and the Bay Area community. USF is a terrific university with great facilities, an excellent conference and located in a beautiful area with great basketball talent. My family and I are very excited to join the Bulls family.”
“The board of trustees and I are very excited to welcome Coach Gregory and his family to USF. He is the right fit for our Men’s Basketball program,” Genshaft added. “He will bring passion, discipline, mentoring and leadership in building a successful program in USF Men’s Basketball.”
USF officials particularly stressed the academic strength of Gregory's players. All of the four-year seniors under Gregory at both Dayton and Georgia Tech graduated. In addition, Georgia Tech's Academic Progress Report (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores were at their highest levels since the NCAA began tracking program’s academic performance.
Orlando Antigua was fired in January after posting a record of 23-55 in two and a half seasons. Last year's second leading scorer, Chris Perry, was dismissed from the team last April, and leading scorer Jahmal McMurray transferred out in December.
In addition, the team is under NCAA investigation for possible academic fraud. Antigua's brother, Oliver, resigned as assistant coach last July after the investigation was announced.
Assistant Coach Murry Bartow served as interim head coach for the rest of the season and went 1-16. The Bulls finished the season 7-23 (1-17 in the American Athletic Conference), losing its last six in a row, including a season-ending defeat to Connecticut in the AAC Tournament.
It's not yet clear if Bartow will remain on the Bulls' staff. USF Athletics officials expect to hold a formal introduction for Gregory early next week.