Former IU coach Tom Crean accepts job at Georgia

  • 03/15/2018 7:52 pm in

Former Indiana coach Tom Crean has landed his next head coaching job.

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Crean finalized a deal to become the next head coach at the University of Georgia on Tuesday.

“I am honored an humbled to join the University of Georgia family,” Crean said in a release issued by Georgia. “I am sincerely grateful to President Morehead and Greg McGarity for an incredible opportunity. Make no mistake, this is a basketball program inside of a great university that can compete for championships doing it the right way.

“We will work diligently and with great energy to make everyone associated with the University of Georgia very proud of our efforts. We’re going to need everyone in the Bulldog Nation to help us to create the energy and excitement that will take Georgia to the highest levels of success.”

The deal is for six years and will pay Crean $3.2 million annually, according to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald.

Crean, who went 166-135 over nine seasons in Bloomington, was fired last March. He spent this season working as a studio and game analyst for ESPN.

Georgia reportedly offered its job to former Ohio State coach Thad Matta earlier in the week, but Matta turned down the position. The Bulldogs acted quickly to hire Crean, who has a career record of 356-231.

Crean’s hiring at Georgia means that Indiana’s financial responsibility to pay the remainder of his contract buyout is likely complete.

According to Crean’s employment contract at Indiana, if he obtains a comparable position, the University’s obligation to pay him is offset and reduced dollar-for-dollar based on the compensation received at his new position.

Georgia finished this past season 18-15 overall and 7-11 in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs have not been to the NCAA tournament since 2015.

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  • Best of luck, Coach Crean. You’ll do well in the SEC — beat Kentucky!

  • Rick Pearson

    Good Luck To You Coach Crean ??? couldn’t resist one last clap ????

  • Dsct1

    Classy coach who ran a clean program. Some may forget 2 big ten titles and a 1 ranking, plus a final four at Marquette.

  • Linda Thomason Wood

    Coach Crean, you are a wonderful person and Georgia is lucky to have you. Wishing you the best!!!

  • Hoosiernation1887

    Very happy for Tom and his family. UGA is certainly not a basketball school, so expectations and the criticism that inevitably joins those expectations will be much lower than they were here. Also worth noting that Crean has had some recent success recruiting the state of Georgia by bringing in Al Durham, getting a respected CC transfer in McFly, and being among the final schools 4-star SF, Duke signee, and future Butler Bulldog Jordan Tucker was considering; in fact it may have been Crean’s firing that caused him not to sign with us. I hope to see him do well, and add a couple more W’s over coach Cal during his tenure!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Good for Coach Crean. Glad to see he landed another job and I wish him success. He was a class act even when let go.

  • Hoosieriniowa

    Congrats to CTC. Will make the Watford recruiting a bit more interesting.

  • Steve Morgan

    Good for Coach Cream indeed. A good man and a good family- I wish him all the best. Plus, now he gets that home and home with Kentucky he always wanted!

  • Ole Man

    IU is out of the hunt on that one.
    He has to worry about AL which seems to be in the lead.

  • inLinE6

    Well deserved. Wish CTC the best of luck, and continue to beat the crap out of UK on a regular basis.

  • Arch Puddington

    He won’t win a national championship, but he won conference titles and made it to the Sweet 16 at each of his last two schools. At Georgia that would count as doing well, and I believe that is possible. Not easy or even likely, but within reason.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    $3.2M annually?! Good job negotiating, Coach Crean. I wouldn’t think Georgia–obviously a football-first type school–would pony up that kind of dough for a basketball coach. That seems akin to what he was making at IU–I can’t remember exactly how much his annual base salary way, but 3+M sounds right.

    I hope with more “down-to-earth” expectations at such a location suits him well and that he can have success–especially against UK. If he can get Georgia to a Sweet 16 every once in a while and be in the conversation for a conference championship every 4 years or so, I bet they’ll be ecstatic.

  • YoungHoosier

    Congrats, Dad. It’s about time. Well deserved.

  • ImYourHuckleberry

    Happy he found a new gig. More deserving to be on the sideline than most. Wish him the best. You got a good one Georgia!

  • Ivan Renko

    I’m interested in following TC’s progress at Georgia. I think he will thrive in the SEC, esp at a place like Georgia that is so football-oriented. All the best to TC, he’s a good man.

  • John D Murphy

    Good for Tom. I think he will do well with the decreased pressure. I searched Twitter and I swear their are more comments on this article than Twitter about this hiring from GA fans. Truth is they just don’t care. And since TC is going to make 3.2M and Kirby Smart currently only makes $3.75M….Kirby is about ready to get a large raise.

  • John D Murphy

    I thought the same thing about Matta. Must have been years or buy out clause or something more than just the annual salary.

  • John D Murphy

    Since TC wasn’t really interested in Watford before, there is no way he can get in the mix.

  • John D Murphy

    My thought is if anyone was thinking about transferring from IU, they probably now have a home.

  • John D Murphy

    There is a lot buzz in PAC-12 country that Alford may be shown the door. Matta could also be a fit for that.

  • Colt

    Good for Crean. Georgia has potential to be a good program. I hope he kicks Kentucky’s ass.

  • Arch Puddington

    Good for him. It will be interesting to see if he fits any better culturally in Georgia than he did in Indiana. If he does, he could do well. He has shown that he can win with great athletes, and the south produces a lot of them. Take a look sometime at the home state of the players in the ESPN Top 100. More that you might guess come from a band running from Virginia around through Alabama, and even Tennessee and occasionally Arkansas. And having lived in and played basketball in the south, the style there is more like his system than the Midwest – lots of attacking off the dribble. It won’t be easy for lots of reasons, but it could work if he can build good relationships.

  • Guyton25

    Very happy for him. I’m glad he’s still at a power 5 conference at a school with a lot less expectations. I really think he can thrive in a position like this. I just hope they give him what he needs and the Georgia fans start caring more because they really have a chance to be competitive in the SEC now.

  • Tenacious Newt

    Jessica>one way out at the end of the shot clock>they used to let you pass out on the beach in Savannah>walk the dawg past the whipping post and it’ll be just fine.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I also heard that Alford may be leaving. It may be wise for both to part ways.

  • Benhyoung14

    He’ll turn them into a NCAA tournament regular and will challenge Kentucky.

  • MikeinNC

    This is a great landing spot for Crean….hard to imagine a better outcome….power 5 conference, more modest expectations in the fan base, great college town.

  • Jason

    Yep, and the fan base will be satisfied with an occasional Sweet 16 and beating UK one game and looking flat and losing to a lousy LSU team the next….

  • Jason

    Exactly what I have said. Will beat UK one game and look flat and lose to a lousy LSU team the next….

  • Jeff Crowder

    Good fit for CTC. I think he can be successful there and bring some fire to the fanbase.

  • GHG

    Congrats Creany, I’m sure his ESPN work will only help him land better recruits!

  • marcusgresham

    You beat me to it.

  • marcusgresham

    ….and the NCAA selection committee has already begun working on the 2018 big dance, penciling in Indiana as a # 6 with Georgia one of the #11’s in the play-in game. Waiting in the next round will be #3 Kentucky.

  • kurk81

    This is a win win. Georgia gets a coach who will recruit well and get the occasional flashy win. IU gets a better coach and gets out from under Crean’s contract.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    best of luck to TC. or i guess we can again call him CTC. he wasn’t perfect, and i didn’t always agree with his decisions, but at least he didn’t cheat. in fact, i got the impression he was careful to distance himself from any recruitment that had even a hint of foul play. and i think playing fair absolutely put him at a disadvantage. but yeah, i’ll be cheering for him at least a couple times a year.

  • plane1972

    Let’s hope baby brother is better than big bro after that Arizona debacle last night. Buffalo completely outclassed them. I honestly think Buffalo could win a series against that Arizona team.

  • Hoosierkamp

    agreed. hope he does well.

  • plane1972

    Maybe he wasn’t the 2nd choice. Perhaps Matta took himself out because he or his agent got a sense Georgia wanted Crean more. I obviously have no idea, but it’s equally plausible. Matta takes himself out so he can look good for other potential vacancies – UCLA, perhaps.

  • Ricky Roe

    It’s an interesting and awkward detail but I don’t think it matters in the end. If there was a job you really wanted, and you got it, would you care?

  • Tommy Morrsion

    Nice! You still got in on it.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    Jury still out on the “better coach” statement.

  • Senor

    That was my first thought too…Matta is in for TWO jobs, and thinks he will be hired for the one he has thought the better all along. His “safety girl” for the dance just asked first


    Sports talk radio coming out of the Louisville area is saying that they have heard that Alford was lobbying for the job through back channels. Most seem dead set that they do not want him as their next coach.


    i.e. Trey Lyles. The way that scenario went down, and how Crean just all of a sudden stopped recruiting him, I’ll always believe that something pretty shady happened towards the end.

  • BeneathTheBanners

    Any chance AD would transfer? Not saying he’s unhappy but he committed early for Crean and he’s from GA. He’s probably well enough established here though. Just thinking outloud.

  • coachv

    i thought crean would hold out for the syracuse job after boeheim retires. you know, orange man

  • coachv

    juries are full of stupid people

  • coachv

    or a win-lose. crean gets another $15 million so there’s a win for him

  • coachv


  • coachv

    not just back channels. the fact that matta interviewed for the job and then turned it down when offered is unusual in any walk of life. wonder what he did not like about the job.