PHOENIX, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Canyon University announced today that Dan Majerle has been named the school's 13th men's basketball coach. Members of the coaching staff will be named at a later date.
Majerle, 47, spent the last five years as an assistant coach with the NBA's Phoenix Suns. He is one of the most popular figures in Suns history, having also played eight seasons with the team from 1988-95 and 2001-02. In all, Majerle played 14 seasons in the NBA and averaged 11.4 points over 955 career games. He made three All-Star appearances and also was named to the 1990-91 and 1992-93 NBA All-Defensive second team. He led the league in three-pointers made (192) in 1993-94.
"The appointment of Dan Majerle as our men's basketball coach is a big day for Grand Canyon," said Brian Mueller, GCU's president and chief executive officer. "At a time when we are raising our profile in Arizona and throughout the West, Dan will bring instant name recognition not only to our basketball program but to the entire University. He will be a great coach and fantastic ambassador for us."
Jerry Colangelo, who recently was named as a special assistant to Mueller in Grand Canyon's transition to NCAA Division I, said Majerle is the right person at the right time for GCU.
"There's a reason Dan Majerle is in the Phoenix Suns' Ring of Honor," said Colangelo, who owned the Suns during Majerle's tenure with the team. "Coaches, teammates and fans loved the work ethic and passion that he brought to the basketball court. He didn't back down from guarding Michael Jordan, and he will have the same focus and determination as Grand Canyon's coach."
Grand Canyon will begin the process of reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I status in athletics during the 2013-14 academic year after accepting an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference on Nov. 27, 2012. The GCU men's basketball program has won three NAIA national championships and has made back-to-back Division II national tournament appearances. Notable alumni of the program include recent GCU Hall of Fame inductees Paul Westphal and Kevin Warren and former NBA players Bayard Forrest, Horacio Llamas and John Shumate.
"Phoenix is my home, and Grand Canyon is Phoenix's hometown university," Majerle said. "When the Suns held training camp on the GCU campus a little more than a year ago, I saw for myself the commitment to excellence that this school has made under Brian Mueller. The facilities for student-athletes are incredible. I'm excited to be a part of the great things happening here."
Majerle, the 14th overall selection in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Suns, was runner-up by one vote to the Indiana Pacers' Detlef Schrempf for the league's Sixth Man Award in 1990-91 with averages of 13.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He averaged a career-best 17.3 points during the 1991-92 season, the same year that he was selected for his first NBA All-Star Game.
Majerle made his second consecutive trip to the All-Star Game in 1992-93 and finished tied for the league lead in three-point field goals with 167. He set a Suns record with eight three-pointers made on January 30 and did it once more in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Seattle SuperSonics.
After the 1993-94 season, Majerle was a member of Dream Team II, the U.S. basketball squad that won gold at the 1994 World Championship of Basketball in Ontario, Canada. He was chosen as a starter for his third All-Star Game in 1994-95 as he averaged 17.4 points in the first half of the season, becoming the first reserve to be voted an All-Star starter since fan balloting began in 1975.
Majerle, originally from Traverse City, Mich., played college basketball at Central Michigan University, where he averaged more than 20 points in three of his four seasons and was an All-Mid-American Conference selection each year of his career. During his senior season, he averaged 23.7 points and 10.8 rebounds while posting a 52.2 field-goal percentage. He completed his career at CMU ranked second all-time in scoring, steals and field-goal percentage. He earned a spot on the 1988 U.S. Olympic basketball team that won the bronze medal in Seoul, South Korea.
About Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU offers degree programs for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional in seven colleges: the Ken Blanchard College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Theology, the College of Fine Arts and Production, and the College of Doctoral Studies. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. The University's curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visit www.gcu.edu.
SOURCE Grand Canyon University