New coach Dan Majerle believes Grand Canyon University is capable of big things

Mar 18, 2013, 6:35 PM | Updated: 6:59 pm
Follow @theAdamGreen...

Dan Majerle badly wanted to be a head coach.

Very badly.

The Suns great, who was an assistant on the team’s coaching staff from 2008 until resigning this season, is finally getting his chance, as he is taking over at Grand Canyon University.

Majerle is replacing Russ Pennell, who guided the Antelopes to a 72-44 record over four seasons — and two postseason appearances in the last two years — but resigned late last week.

“I’m happy about it,” Majerle said Monday after being introduced. “They reached out to me, they decided to go a different direction, and they called and wanted to know if I’d be interested.”

Majerle said he thought about the idea and decided “it was kind of a no-brainer.”

“This is a great university, a growing university and an opportunity to stay in Phoenix, to be a head coach.”

Part of the allure is also the fact that GCU will be transitioning from Division II to Division I next season and Jerry Colangelo, who is a special assistant to school president Brian Mueller, said Majerle was the right choice.

“When you think about a guy who you want to lead a program, who has the kind of presence and has the kind of work ethic that he does,” Colangelo said.

Colangelo believes Majerle’s reputation will have far reaching effects, from putting a coaching staff together to recruiting talent.

Of course Majerle, who has no experience coaching in the collegiate ranks, said the one thing he enjoyed most from his stint on the Suns’ staff was actually coaching, and he’ll get a chance to work with young players in his new role. And while he has plenty to learn about the college game and how to recruit, Majerle is confident he’ll be just fine in his new role.

“I think this is a university that can be a Gonzaga or a Butler or a team like that,” Majerle said, noting other very successful mid-major programs. “That’s why I’m stepping in, that’s why I think I can do it.”

Phoenix Suns

General manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns looks on after the game against the Miami Heat at F...
Tyler Drake

Jones: Suns need to ‘control what they can control’ with fouling

Worrying over what transpired in previous games does the Phoenix Suns no favors as it jostles for playoff position.
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Arena on March 22, 2023 in Los...
Dan Bickley

Suns crying foul hints at problems between their ears

The Suns have been tagged as a flopping, foul-hunting, fall-down-after-every-shot kind of team. You don’t think that comes with consequences?
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns takes a shot against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half ...
Kellan Olson

Suns let another winnable game slip away, lose to Lakers

The Phoenix Suns keep letting winnable games slip away in uncharacteristic ways and have now lost five of their last six.
1 day ago
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns looks on in the first quarter during their game again...
Kellan Olson

Monty Williams says officiating vs. Suns is not fair after loss to Lakers

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams sounded off on the officiating after a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
1 day ago
Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, right, lies on the court after an injury during the secon...
Associated Press

Clippers’ Paul George out 2-3 weeks with sprained right knee

Paul George has a sprained right knee and the Los Angeles Clippers All-Star will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks.
2 days ago
Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns look on during the third quarter against the ...
Kellan Olson

What happened to the Phoenix Suns in the clutch this season?

The Phoenix Suns went from a historically good team in the clutch last season to a bad one this year. What happened?
2 days ago
New coach Dan Majerle believes Grand Canyon University is capable of big things