Wilmington, NC — Just as heavy winds that a seahawk would love swept through Wilmington on Thursday, the school introduced the new man in charge of their men’s basketball program.
C.B. McGrath, fresh off a national championship as an assistant coach on Roy Williams’ staff at North Carolina, had little time to celebrate before taking over at his new job.
“My dreams came true earlier that day when it became official that I’d be the head coach at UNC Wilmington,” McGrath said at his introductory presser on Thursday.
The UNC Wilmington Seahawks have been a program on the rise over the past three seasons under former coach Kevin Keatts, and McGrath looks to keep that momentum flowing. Don’t expect much of a change in style of play, as McGrath shares a similar up-tempo basketball philosophy.
“My vision is to lead this program to places it’s never been before,” he said.
McGrath brings a passion for the city of Wilmington, a wealth of basketball knowledge, and a well-known recruiting ability. He believes that UNC Wilmington has the support system and community to be a consistent contender, despite being a mid-major. To McGrath, it doesn’t matter what level you are coaching, it’s more about knowing the game.
“Basketball is basketball no matter who you're coaching, whether it’s mid-majors, small college, highest level, BCS, you gotta get your team to play basketball and you gotta get them all invested, all bought in, for it to be successful,” he said. “You gotta put the pieces together and everyone has to work together.”
He also believes that in order to build a program as a mid-major, similar to the likes the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Mark Few, time is required. The hard work must be put in, recruiting is vital, and so is some good luck.
After being the primary scout in preparation for the title game against Gonzaga, McGrath turned his focus to developing his staff. He’s currently in the process and has reached out to candidates, and feels optimistic and excited about the potential. He believes the candidates are better than he thought possible for his staff.
UNC Wilmington has been on McGrath’s radar for some time. When asked why he felt this was the time to leave Williams’ staff after many years, McGrath said that he went after the job twice previously.
“This is the one job I’d leave Chapel Hill for, heck I had a good job, this job is better,” he said.