Majerle to take over for Pennell at Grand Canyon

2013-03-16T00:00:00Z Majerle to take over for Pennell at Grand CanyonThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - Russ Pennell has resigned as head basketball coach at Grand Canyon, and former Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle said Friday he is taking the job.

Majerle made the comments to Phoenix television station KTVK. Grand Canyon is to begin the transition to NCAA Division I next season.

Grand Canyon would not confirm the hiring but scheduled a news conference for Monday morning to announce the new coach.

Majerle was an assistant to Suns coach Alvin Gentry but resigned when he was passed over for the interim job when Gentry was fired earlier this year.

Pennell, a former Arizona Wildcats assistant and interim head coach who led the UA to the Sweet 16 in 2009, made the decision Friday after the Antelopes' first-round loss in the NCAA Division II West Regional. Pennell was 72-44 over four seasons at Grand Canyon. This year's team went 23-8.

GCU president Brian Mueller said in a news release that the university and Pennell came to a "mutual decision that it would be in the best interests of the university and Coach Pennell if we took different paths at this time."

The Antelopes will play in the Western Athletic Conference starting next season.

Pennell issued a statement through the university:

"I leave with great respect for Grand Canyon University and thank Brian Mueller for giving me the opportunity to lead the men's basketball program over the past four seasons. I look forward to the next opportunity that lies ahead."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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