Georgia State Names Rob Lanier as Newest Men’s Basketball Coach

Georgia State Names Rob Lanier New Men's Basketball Coach

Georgia State University President Mark Becker and Athletic Director Charlie Cobb introduced Rob Lanier as the newest Men’s Basketball Head Coach late Tuesday Morning. Players, fans, the media and Lanier’s family gathered in the University Club at Georgia State Stadium for the introductory press conference.

During the press conference, Coach Lanier spoke to what made him consider taking the job at Georgia State. “I knew Ron Hunter, I knew Ray McCallum, I knew the success that was taking place in the program. So I knew… there was a winning culture here, and that made [the job] attractive.” Coach Lanier proceeded to explain that he knew early in the interview with Dr. Becker and Charlie Cobb that Georgia State was the job for him. “…within 15 minutes of sitting down with Charlie [Cobb] and Dr. Becker, I saw what I was looking for. I saw an energy, a progressiveness, and a vision that matched my own.”

Coach Lanier spent the last four seasons as the Associate Head Coach under Head Coach Rick Barnes at the University of Tennessee. During his time coaching the Volunteers, Lanier was lauded for his work in the recruiting game. He was a key part in the recruiting process for the 2016-17 draft class, which included forward Grant Williams, who would go on to earn SEC Player of the Year as a true sophomore.

When asked about what he wanted to bring to this program in terms of his in-game philosophy, Coach Lanier promised changes to Georgia State’s system. “We’re going to play man-to-man. And we’re going to be good at it.” This is a dramatic change from the defensive system in place under former coach, Ron Hunter, who was famous for running a lesser-seen variant of the 2-3 Zone.

Lanier went on to preach effort in the Panther’s defensive identity. “We’re going to guard you all the way up the floor and then when you get into the half-court, we’re going to guard you then.” Coach Lanier also promised a change to Georgia State’s recruiting goals and promised to bring some bigger interior presence to the team to help them match up more effectively with teams out of the Sun Belt Conference. 

“I want to get to the point where we’re bringing some more size into the program … [so that] when we go outside the league and play [teams] on the court we’re going to look them in the eye.”

Georgia State’s Athletics department has yet to announce the full roster of the assistant coaching staff, but more developments to that end will be made public soon. Remaining Student-Athletes on the team will take the rest of the spring semester to finish their classes before beginning work with the coaches and training staff full time this summer.

Video by Taylor Dinan for THERSday Night.

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