Xavier's search for a new head men's basketball coach is over. They've hired Travis Steele to be Chris Mack's replacement. Steele has been at Xavier for ten seasons, including the last nine under Chris Mack.
Steele is the 18th head men's basketball coach in Xavier history.
"We could not be more excited about how this process unfolded," Xavier Athletic Director Greg Christopher said in a statement. "We had tremendous interest in our head coaching position, including several successful Division I head coaches. That speaks volumes to the perception of our program nationally, especially in the basketball community. We gathered input from a variety of experts in the field, including former players, coaches, administrators and media. Ultimately, we were prepared and focused on the candidates we had targeted. I'd like to thank all of these people who were a part of the process, especially the candidates who took the time to meet with us in San Antonio. "As we completed our national search process, it became clear that the best head coach for our program is the person we knew the best, Travis Steele. Travis has impacted the Xavier basketball program in a variety of ways during his time at Xavier, whether in the office, on the court or in recruiting. Travis brings passion, personality and organizational leadership skills to our head coaching position, which is really the CEO of our basketball program. He has earned a reputation as one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game and one of the future stars in this profession."
It always felt like Steele was the front runner for the job. He had worked under Mack and helped him recruit some great classes. Current and former players vouched for him and I'm sure that made the decision easier for Christopher.
"I am excited about the opportunity to build on the success that we've enjoyed in the Xavier basketball program," said Steele. "I want to thank the Xavier administration and everyone involved in the search process, especially Greg Christopher."
Steele beat out a number of rumored candidates, including Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey. Kelsey congratulated Steele on Twitter:
What do you think of Steele being Mack's replacement? I had a feeling something would get done this weekend and Steele always felt like the front runner. Vote in the poll question and tweet me your thoughts below.
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