Southern Methodist University men's basketball head coach Rob Lanier argues with the referee at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Dec. 6, 2023.

SMU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Rob Lanier Fired

After two seasons coaching ACC-bound Southern Methodist University’s men’s basketball team, Rob Lanier was fired Thursday.

Lanier was an assistant coach for the Gators back in 2011.

Lanier Leading the Mustangs

This season, the SMU Mustangs lost the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday to Indiana State 101-92. The Mustangs (20-13) were 30-35 under Lanier the past two seasons and had a 16-20 record in American Athletic Conference games.

Next season, the Mustangs are set to move into the ACC and are searching for a new coach as they jump into a new range of athletics.

Making History

The Mustangs had not been in an NCAA Tournament since 2017, which was their third total appearance since they won in 1988.

Lanier’s Background

Lanier coached at Georgia State for three seasons and led them to the NCAA Tournament in 2022. While coaching at Georgia State, Lanier guided the team to winning a Sun Belt title. Twenty years prior, he led Siena to the tournament. While coaching for Siena, he helped the team gain a First Four NCAA tournament game win against Alcorn State.

Then, SMU hired him.

Lanier replaced SMU’s head coach Tim Jankovich. Jankovich retired after six seasons with the Mustangs.

Lanier has also worked with Hall of Fame coaches as their assistant coach including Florida’s ex-coach Billy Donovan. He has also worked with Rick Barnes at both Texas and Tennessee.

Lanier’s Latest

After the unexpected release of Lanier from the Mustangs, Rice University hired Lanier as their next head basketball coach. This will be his fourth head-coaching job.

Lanier is a well-known coach, and this will be his tenth season as a Division 1 head coach.

It will be interesting to see how Rob Lanier leads Rice’s team in the ACC and to see how the Mustangs do if or when the two play each other.

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