Coach Rob Lanier Leaves Georgia State for SMU

Photo: Jordan Crawford,

The Georgia State men’s basketball program will once again be in search of a leader, as head coach Rob Lanier has accepted the same position at SMU of the American Athletic Conference. The move was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports on Friday night and has since been made official by the university on Sunday:

The team compiled a 53-30 record under Coach Lanier, making the Sun Belt title game in his final two seasons in charge and winning it this season to earn a place in the NCAA Tournament this season. Those 53 wins are the most in the first three seasons of any coach in program history. Lanier’s last game in charge was the Panthers’ 93-72 loss to 1-seed Gonzaga in the round of 64 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. It was the team’s first NCAA berth since 2019 and the third time in the last four tournaments where they have been the sole representative of the Sun Belt Conference.

In remarks released after the news went public, Georgia State’s athletic director Charlie Cobb said of his former coach, “Thank you to Rob Lanier and his staff for their leadership as a part of our basketball program the past three seasons. As our recent Sun Belt Conference Championship demonstrates, basketball success is part of our athletics brand.” He went on, “Opening the new Convocation Center later this year further adds to our success and trajectory. We look forward to hiring a head coach and staff that will maximize their abilities as players and people and represent Georgia State in an outstanding manner.”

This marks the second consecutive time a Georgia State coach has been hired away by a team in the AAC, after the Panthers’ last coach, Ron Hunter, took the open job at Tulane after the 2018/19 season. Cobb will now set about replacing Lanier, as the team gets set to open up their new home, the Georgia State Convocation Center, next season. News about the forthcoming coaching search is yet to be announced by the university. We’ll keep you updated with the very latest as we know it on and on Twitter – @THERSdayNight.

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