McGrath looking to hit the ground running as Seahawks head coach

McGrath looking to hit the ground running as Seahawks head coach

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - C.B. McGrath helped cut down the nets for the North Carolina basketball team Monday after the Tar Heels won the NCAA tournament championship.

Now, McGrath, a longtime UNC assistant, is UNCW's head men's basketball coach, taking over a Seahawk program coming off three of its most successful seasons.

McGrath wants to continue to build and make the Seahawks better.

"To bounce off what has been started," McGrath said Thursday during his introduction at Trask Coliseum. "To keep it going, the vision is to be more successful."

McGrath, who is taking over for Kevin Keatts after Keatts took the NC State head coaching job, met with his current players just before he was introduced to the public Thursday.

"I told them to be invested and committed from this day forward to UNCW basketball for this to be successful," McGrath said. "These guys can't learn who I am in one day, in one meeting. It's going to take time, but if they want input from their peers they can get that."

McGrath went as far as to offer his new players the phone numbers of current North Carolina players in case they wanted to ask Tar Heels questions about him.

McGrath plans to play an up-tempo style of basketball, which should be a perfect fit for the players on the Seahawk roster.

Keeping players from transferring out of the program is often a challenge for new coaches, and a couple of recruits who had committed to UNCW decided to re-open their recruitment this week.

All-Colonial Athletic Conference first-teamer C.J. Bryce said he is keeping his options open.

"I plan on staying at Wilmington for next year, but you never know what might happen in the next month or so," Bryce said.

Seahawk freshman Jaylen Fornes said he believes in his new coach and that his teammates do too.

"I feel like we all want to stay together," Fornes said. "I don't feel like anybody will leave. As long as we are in it together, I think we can do big things."

This is McGrath's first head coaching job. He spent the past 18 years an assistant head coach, 14 of those at North Carolina.

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