Taking UNCW job an easy choice for McGrath, family

Taking UNCW job an easy choice for McGrath, family

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - After thinking about being the basketball coach at UNC Wilmington for years, C.B. McGrath didn't have a lot of thinking left to do once he was offered the job.

McGrath was introduced as UNCW's new coach on Thursday afternoon in Trask Coliseum, three days after he helped North Carolina win the NCAA tournament championship as an assistant under longtime UNC coach, Hall of Famer Roy Williams.

The national title was McGrath's third in 14 seasons with Williams at Carolina and it served as an ideal springboard into a week that was also highlighted by McGrath getting his first opportunity to be a college head coach. The Seahawks announced Monday that McGrath signed a five-year deal that will pay him $300,000 annually.

"He went out to Phoenix (for the NCAA championship) and a couple days later he called me from the locker room and said that he got it," said McGrath's wife, Kris, during the gathering at Trask. "I was like, 'What did you say?' He said, 'I'm gonna take it.' He didn't even have to think about it."

The McGraths have been visiting Wilmington for years and the family, including twin daughters Kate and Addison and son Hunter, seemed excited about the opportunity to move here permanently.

Kris, who was a standout tennis player at Kansas -- where C.B. played basketball for Williams -- said she is familiar with certain parts of southeastern NC more than others.

"I know the beach area," said Kris, whose sister, Jenny Garrity, was the UNCW tennis coach for 12 seasons. "I know there's a lot more to learn, but we'll figure it out."

C.B. McGrath built a reputation as a top-notch recruiter working for Williams the last 18 years and before that, he was the team captain for Williams' 1997-98 team at Kansas. McGrath oversaw UNC's highly-respected coaches clinics and was active in the Chapel Hill community, running an autographed basketball program that raised money for charities.

UNCW Chancellor Jose "Zito"  Sartarelli said he has been impressed with more than just McGrath's credentials.

"He understands the game, is a great recruiter, an approachable man, humble," Sartarelli said. "I think one thing that was important in hiring C.B. was his humility because it's in humility that you learn. If you're arrogant after so many accomplishments, you're not going to learn anything. That's not C.B."

Seahawk Club member Jim Stasios compared Thursday's atmosphere to the same one at Trask when former coach Kevin Keatts was introduced in 2014. Under Keatts' leadership, UNCW went 72-28 in three seasons with three Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles and two NCAA tournament appearances.

Keatts took the NC State head coaching job in mid-March shortly after the Seahawks lost to Virginia in the NCAA tourney, and McGrath appears ready to keep up the team's winning ways, or maybe more.

"I'm excited for our program," said Stasios, a former chair of the UNCW Alumni Association. "I said that three years ago when we were introducing coach Keatts and he made the comment that he wanted to restore our program to the level that it used to be. Even though (McGrath) didn't use those words, I get that same feeling. He wants to maintain that level (Keatts had), and (McGrath) said even do better."

Albert Corbett, a member of the Seahawk Shot Maker club, has a clear opinion about the McGrath hire.

"I don't think, I know we've got the total package," Corbett said. "He's the right person at the right time. We're very fortunate to have coach McGrath."

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