GCU’s Dan Majerle in for the long haul

Feb 9, 2015, 4:28 PM | Updated: 4:28 pm

LISTEN: Dan Majerle, GCU head coach

When Phoenix Suns legend Dan Majerle was named the head coach at Grand Canyon University in March of 2013, many were surprised.

Majerle had just served as an assistant coach for the Suns for five seasons and may have been in the pipeline for some head coaching opportunities in the NBA.

The 2013-14 season would be GCU’s first in Division I, so the powers that be wanted to make a splash. Enter Majerle, who has guided the ‘Lopes to a 29-26 record since taking over the program.

The second-year head coach hopes this is the start of a long-term stay at the central Phoenix campus.

“God willing, I don’t see myself leaving Grand Canyon,” Majerle responded when asked by Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM if he could see himself coaching again in the NBA.

“I’m loyal. They hired me to do something here at GCU and I said ‘I’m going to do it.’ That’s to be a top-25 program. Hopefully I’ll be here for as long as they’ll have me and we’ll get that done.”

Majerle certainly has the GCU program headed in the right direction. The ‘Lopes are tied for second place in the Western Athletic Conference with six games remaining in the season.

Unfortunately, the team is also in the middle of a four-year probationary period which coincided with their elevation to Division I and keeps them ineligible for the postseason, including the conference tournament. Majerle is frustrated by the rule, but keeps that frustration in its proper place.

“I don’t let it drive me crazy,” he said. “Our job as a coaching staff is to continue to build this program and be ready when this four years is over.

“And then hit the ground running and be ready, but that’s what we’re concentrating on. And it is frustrating because when you go out and try to recruit, it’s a tough deal. High school kids look and the (NCAA Tournament) is a big deal.”

Majerle has no choice but to be patient right now. The university filed a waiver to gain eligiblity to play in the WAC Tournament, which will be held March 11-14 in Las Vegas. That request was denied.

Despite that, the head coach is content with where he is.

“I’m so happy to be here in Phoenix and to be at GCU as part of a growing program and to work with the people I work with,” he said. “I was hired to do a job here and I’m happy with that. I don’t need to go back to the NBA. Now, whether I do, I don’t know.

“I want to stay at GCU and I want to build a program and I want to be the next Gonzaga or Wichita State or Butler. I want that to happen at GCU and I want to the man who does it.”

Grand Canyon University

Associated Press

GCU’s Jacob Wilson has been the hardest player in NCAA D-I to strike out for 2 seasons

Jacob Wilson came of age in baseball when the dictates of analytics removed the shame of striking out if it meant hitting more home runs.

13 days ago

Washington State forward Mouhamed Gueye (35) grabs a rebound over Arizona State forward Duke Brenna...

Arizona Sports

Arizona State’s Duke Brennan, Malcolm Flaggs transfer to GCU

Former Arizona State big man Duke Brennan and guard Malcolm Flaggs are transferring to GCU, the duo announced on Thursday.

1 month ago

Rayshon Harrison #0 of the Grand Canyon Antelopes passes the ball against Malachi Smith #13 of the ...

Associated Press

Grand Canyon falls to Gonzaga in 1st round of NCAA Tournament

It was a formidable effort from 14th-seeded Grand Canyon but it fell to third-seeded Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

3 months ago

Fairleigh Dickinson guard Grant Singleton (4) celebrates after a basket against Purdue in the secon...

Associated Press

Fairleigh Dickinson shocks No. 1 seed Purdue in NCAA Tournament

Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning top-seeded Purdue 63-58.

3 months ago

Grand Canyon Antelopes head coach Bryce Drew looks on during the college basketball game between th...

Kellan Olson

What is the recipe for a potential Grand Canyon upset over Gonzaga?

A few key statistics to keep an eye on for Grand Canyon against Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

3 months ago

Furman forward Tyrese Hughey (15) and forward Alex Williams, right, celebrate their win against Vir...

Arizona Sports

Furman tips off madness by forced TO, go-ahead 3 to beat Virginia

It only took until the second game of the NCAA Tournament's first round to give us a wild March moment in 2023.

3 months ago

GCU’s Dan Majerle in for the long haul