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Coaching News

"Eliminate Thornton: check."
A couple of quick notes have come out in regards to Xavier's coaching staff. The first of these is that Brian Thornton, who has been Director of Men's Basketball Operations for the past two years at Xavier, has departed to accept an assistant coaching position at Furman. Thornton first joined X as a transfer center from Vanderbilt, and he had an extremely promising senior season cut off by an injury. Thornton was noted for being a great student as well as a great player, and his contribution to the staff will doubtless be missed. He is following the same career path as Coach Mack did, moving from Director of Men's Basketball Operations to an assistant job elsewhere. Who knows if time will bring Brian back to the Xavier fold, but we certainly wish him all the best.



Filling Thornton's shoes will be Jeremy Growe, who has been a grad assistant with the team for the past two years. Coach Mack says that "Jeremy has done a great job during his two seasons in the program, and it made the decision on Brian's replacement an easy one. Jeremy is ready to take that next step and assume even more responsibility in the program." Growe has a degree in Sports Marketing and Management and his master's in Sports Administration. I don't know much about Growe beyond what you can find on goxavier.com, but if Coach Mack says he fits, I believe it.

Unsubstantiated rumor states Mack was shocked by the offer.
Speaking of Coach Mack, the man himself inked a contract with Xavier that will run through the 2017-18 season. Mack got this deal done the same week that Sean Miller signed an extension with Arizona, but Coach Mack didn't publicly leverage interest from other schools into a better deal with his current one. Mike Bobinski said that "this is the most comprehensive agreement we have ever offered to a head coach at Xavier University and we are pleased to do so." I'm not sure what all the details of the deal are, so take from Bobinski's comments what you will.

Coach Mack said all the right things at the announcement, thanking the school and the administration for the faith and support and professing his excitement about the upcoming years. Mack is 50-17 (.746) overall and 29-3 (.906) in the Atlantic 10 since taking over, so it's hard not to be excited about this as a Muskie fan. Coupled with the return of Tu Holloway and the highly-rated recruiting classes Mack has signed, the future looks very bright indeed for Xavier basketball.