Graduating student-athletes, record win totals, sold-out crowds, regular-season and tournament titles, postseason success and a three-time All-American son are part of the legacy that Greg McDermott has created in his first four seasons on The Hilltop.
Named the 16th head coach in Creighton men’s basketball history on April 27, 2010, McDermott has gone 107-38 in his first four seasons, while returning the program to the national rankings with an up-tempo style of play that has fans turning out in record numbers.
Last season McDermott’s club led the nation in three-point percentage, three-pointers made and assist/turnover ratio, while also ranking second in three-pointers per game and assists per game. His son, Doug, swept all 14 National Player of the Year awards, led the nation in scoring (26.7 ppg.), became the fifth-leading scorer in Division I history (3,150 career points) and went on to become the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Making the big leap from the MVC to the BIG EAST, Creighton finished second in its new league in both the regular-season and conference tournament. In the process, CU owned a pair of lopsided wins over top-10 Villanova, including a 96-68 win in Philadelphia that saw the Bluejays drain a three-pointer on each of their first nine possessions.
All four seniors on last year’s team would go on to graduate and play professionally.
His 2012-13 team swept MVC regular-season and tournament titles, defeating rival Wichita State in both deciding contests, and finished 28-8. The Jays would win an NCAA Tournament game in consecutive seasons for the first time, before falling to Duke in the third round.
Doug McDermott repeated as MVC Player of the Year and once again was named First Team All-American. He led the nation in field goals made and points scored, while also setting then-CU records for points in a season (834) and career (2,216). Additionally, Grant Gibbs and Gregory Echenique were named Honorable Mention All-MVC, with Echenique earning a spot on the All-Defensive Team for a third straight year. Ethan Wragge was named MVC Sixth Man of the Year.
Creighton tied a school record in 2011-12 with 29 wins and reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament, while establishing a program record with 2,772 points. The team spent 16 weeks ranked in the Top 25, and earned its inaugural First Team AP All-American in program history when his son was honored following a record-setting season. Doug was the first sophomore in league history named MVC Player of the Year, setting a school record with 801 points while also leading the nation with 307 field goals.
Creighton finished the year ranked No. 19 by the AP, and also ranked sixth nationally for its average home attendance of 16,665.
McDermott’s first year in Omaha was also a success. He led Creighton to a 23-16 record in his first campaign, as the Jays won a school-record four postseason games, advancing to the CBI finals.
Doug McDermott swept MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year awards while becoming the first freshman since 1952 to be named First Team All-MVC. Point guard Antoine Young was named Second Team All-Valley and also earned a spot on the MVC’s Most-Improved Team.
Additionally, Gregory Echenique was named to the MVC All-Newcomer and All-Defensive Teams, while Jahenns Manigat landed an All-Freshman Team spot alongside Doug McDermott.
Four members of his first team (Kaleb Korver, Matthew Dorwart, Ross Ferrarini and Derek Sebastian) were honored for their work in the classroom, while the accolades also piled up for their performance on the court. Dorwart, Ferrarini, Sebastian and Taylor Stormberg earned that accolade in 2011-12 as well.
A native of Cascade, Iowa, McDermott owns a 256-169 record in 13 seasons on the Division I sidelines. He has a 387-233 career mark in 20 seasons as a head coach, which includes eight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Before coming to Creighton, McDermott had spent the previous four seasons as head coach at Iowa State.
McDermott won 59 games at Iowa State, where his teams consistently ranked in the upper half of the Big 12 in scoring defense and three-point shooting. He coached five players who earned all-conference recognition, including Craig Brackins, who was the first Cyclone since 2001 to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2009. He also coached Mike Taylor, who was a second-round pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and played for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2008-09.
McDermott’s 2008-09 squad broke school records in three-pointers made (236) and fewest turnover average (12.1 tpg.) in a season. His 2009-10 club saw preseason Wooden Award nominee Brackins finish as the Big 12’s only player to rank in the Top 10 in conference scoring, rebounding and blocks. Additionally, Marquis Gilstrap was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 pick after being the only player in the conference to average a double-double in conference play (15.3 ppg., 10.3 rpg.).
McDermott’s meteoric rise in the head coaching ranks occurred in his five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Northern Iowa. After taking over a program that had not posted a winning season since 1997, McDermott’s recipe for success launched the UNI program into the national spotlight. In his third season with the Panthers, McDermott led UNI to the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and its second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history while recording a 21-10 mark.
He backed up UNI’s 2004 season with yet another NCAA Tournament bid in 2005, this time earning the Panthers’ first at-large berth with a No. 11 seed. The Panthers tallied a 21-11 record and took No. 6 seed Wisconsin to the wire, falling 57-52. The 2006 UNI season was just as successful, as McDermott led the Panthers to their first Associated Press Top 25 ranking while tying a then-school record with 23 wins. UNI defeated five NCAA Tournament teams (Iowa, LSU, Wichita State, Southern Illinois and Bucknell) en route to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with a No. 10 seed. McDermott compiled a 90-63 record at UNI.
McDermott has proven to be a top-notch recruiter and a sound tactician. He has coached 31 players who have earned some sort of conference award in his 13 years as a Division I coach, including four players who earned First Team All-MVC honors seven times (Doug McDermott, David Gruber, Ben Jacobson, Grant Stout), one First Team All-Big 12 pick (Brackins), and one First Team All-BIG EAST pick (Doug McDermott).
McDermott received his first head coaching job at Wayne State (Neb.) from 1994-2000. He led the Wildcats to four-straight 20-win seasons, one Northern Sun Conference title and a pair of NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 berth in 2000. He won 116 games in his six years with the Wildcats while earning conference coach of the year honors in 2000.
He left Wayne State to take over the coaching duties at Division II North Dakota State for one season (2000-01) before heading to Cedar Falls. The Bison finished 15-11 overall and defeated three top-25 opponents on the road in 2001.
McDermott began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of North Dakota from 1989-94. During his tenure, UND made five consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, were ranked No. 1 in the final 1991 NCAA poll and won two North Central Conference crowns. He was also a part of two North Central Region Championships and compiled a 126-37 record in his six seasons.
A fourth-team all-state center for Cascade High School in 1983, McDermott accepted UNI head coach Jim Berry’s scholarship offer to play for the Panthers. He played three seasons for Berry and two years for Eldon Miller at UNI, recording 1,033 career points and ranks 33rd on UNI’s all-time scoring chart. As a junior, he ranked 16th nationally in field-goal percentage (58.7 percent) and shot 60.3 percent from the field as a senior. The 6-foot-8 center was named second-team all-conference as a junior and was a team co-captain as a senior. He received his B.A. degree from Northern Iowa in 1988. He played one season professionally in Switzerland after graduation before beginning his coaching career.
McDermott and his wife, Theresa, have three children: Nick (25), Doug (22) and Sydney (14). Doug is entering his rookie season with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.
Creighton Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen, on Greg McDermott “I’ve been asked what I was looking for in a head coach. As a first priority, I wanted a head coach with documented success as a head coach, at the Division I level, with experience at the Division I level at the level at which we aspire to compete. That’s to be a nationally relevant program in men’s basketball. “I wanted someone who understood Creighton, who understood the Missouri Valley Conference, who understood the Midwest, and who understood what it was to be the head coach of a major college basketball program in this country. “I wanted someone with great passion for the game. Great intelligence in teaching the game, and great character. And great character was of critical importance to me. “I wanted someone who was a great family man, and understood the emotions that these young men and their parents feel. I know how much Greg loves his wife, Theresa, and his kids, Nick, Doug and Sydney, and that was very important to me. “I wanted someone who was a great teacher and who had demonstrated the ability to develop players individually or as a group. “And I am confident as you get to know coach McDermott, you will see that he is an absolutely perfect fit for that vision.”
The Greg McDermott File Personal • Wife - Theresa • Children - Nick (25), Doug (22), Sydney (14) • Date of Birth - Nov. 25, 1964 • Hometown - Cascade, Iowa
Collegiate Coaching Experience • Creighton - Head Coach, 2010-Present • Iowa State - Head Coach, 2006-10 • Northern Iowa - Head Coach, 2001-06 • North Dakota State - Head Coach, 2000-01 • Wayne State (Neb.) - Head Coach, 1994-2000 • North Dakota - Assistant Coach, 1989-94
Collegiate Coaching Honors Wayne State (Neb.) College • 1999-2000 NSIC Coach of the Year • Coach of 1998-99 team that made Wayne State Hall of Fame • Coach of 1999-00 team that made Wayne State Hall of Fame • 2006 inductee into Wayne State Hall of Fame University of North Dakota • Assistant Coach of 1989-90 team that made North Dakota Hall of Fame
Creighton University • 2011-12 CollegeInsider.com Hugh Durham Award National Coach of the Year Finalist • 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com MVC Coach of the Year • 2012-13 NABC District 16 Coach of the Year • 2013-14 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year Finalist • 2013-14 USBWA Henry Iba Coach of the Year Finalist
Professional Playing Experience • Switzerland - 1988-89
Collegiate Playing Experience • Northern Iowa - 1984-88, Center
College Education • University of Northern Iowa - B.A., 1988 • United States Sports Academy - M.S.S., 1994