Former Jayhawk C.B. McGrath takes over at UNC Wilmington

Former Kansas University basketball players C.B. McGrath, left, and
Raef LaFrentz posed during 1998 graduation ceremonies. Kansas leads
the Big 12 Conference in players' graduation rates.

Former Kansas University basketball players C.B. McGrath, left, and Raef LaFrentz posed during 1998 graduation ceremonies. Kansas leads the Big 12 Conference in players' graduation rates. by Journal-World File Photo

Former Kansas walk-on C.B. McGrath, who played for former KU coach Roy Williams from 1995-98 and then spent the next 18 years as part of Williams’ coaching staff for four seasons at Kansas and the last 14 at North Carolina, is officially setting out on his own.

McGrath, a native of Topeka, who starred at Topeka West High, was officially announced as the next head coach at UNC Wilmington on Monday, a few hours before the Tar Heels knocked off Gonzaga to win this year’s national title.

McGrath will be introduced at the school on Thursday and, from there, will start chasing his former coach and boss’ incredible records which include more than 800 victories and three national championships.

"Ever since I began visiting the Wilmington area, UNCW has always been a dream job for me," McGrath said in a statement. "I've been following the program for some time. It's on the upswing, and we want to move it forward from there. I'm looking forward to the challenge and using what was accomplished the past two years as a springboard for the future.”

During his final season as a Jayhawk, McGrath was a team captain and lettered four seasons as a point guard under Williams. The Jayhawks were 58-0 at home during his career as a player and he played in 112 career games, scored 82 points and had 113 assists and 35 steals.

Although he was known throughout the area for tearing up the high school circuit before living out his dream of joining the Jayhawks, one of McGrath’s better known moments in crimson and blue came in December of 1996, when he played out the final few minutes of a 105-73 Kansas rout of UNC Asheville and drew a wild reaction from the crowd and the Kansas bench when his breakaway dunk attempt came up just short and caught the front of the rim.

With McGrath’s dunking days likely behind him, his new bosses at UNC Wilmington seem completely content to hand over a basketball program that has reached the last two NCAA Tournaments and six all-time to a man like McGrath, with playing and coaching experience at two of the top programs in the country.

“We’ve recruited an outstanding head coach to mentor these student-athletes for success on and off the court,” UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said in a statement. “C.B. McGrath has been an integral part of North Carolina’s winning tradition, and I know he will bring us that same commitment to sportsmanship and excellence. Seahawk fans everywhere are looking forward to watching the team achieve even greater heights under Coach McGrath’s leadership.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, left, talks with assistant C.B. McGrath during the start of of the Tar Heels' public practice.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, left, talks with assistant C.B. McGrath during the start of of the Tar Heels' public practice. by Nick Krug

Comments

Suzi Marshall

Exciting news to hear about McGrath. Hopefully Self can go another 5-10-20 years for Kansas. If McGrath does well, he is one to watch as a potential successor to Self. However, I hope that's some 20 years down the road and other guys, like Lucas, may show up on the radar.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

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