Archive for Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cyclones name McDermott coach

Iowa State turns to Northern Iowa’s successful leader

March 22, 2006

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— The job of turning around Iowa State's basketball program was given to self-described Iowa farm boy Greg McDermott.

The Northern Iowa coach was hired by the Cyclones on Tuesday, four days after Wayne Morgan was fired.

The 41-year-old McDermott led the Panthers to three straight NCAA Tournaments in his five seasons and 20-plus victories in each of the past three seasons.

"This place was special enough to leave home to come here," said McDermott, a former Northern Iowa player. "I'm one of you. I'm a farm boy from Cascade, Iowa."

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said that McDermott had agreed to a six-year deal at $650,000 per year, plus incentives.

McDermott's hiring comes at the end of a search that Pollard had whittled down to two candidates: Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Rob Jeter and McDermott.

Pollard met with McDermott on Sunday, decided on him over Jeter and offered McDermott the job late Monday night.

"I just feel coach McDermott was a better fit for Iowa State," Pollard said.

McDermott spent seven seasons as a Division II head coach, six at Wayne State College and one at North Dakota State, before joining Northern Iowa. The Panthers went 90-63 under McDermott and finished 23-10 this season.

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