GCU coach Dan Majerle on Illinois rumors: 'I have something I have to do here first'

Posted at 11:10 AM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 14:15:52-04

Despite speculation that he may be considered for Illinois' head coaching vacancy, Grand Canyon men's basketball coach and former Phoenix Suns great Dan Majerle said he's not going anywhere.

Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh and college hoops insider Jordan Cornette speculated that Majerle could be a candidate for Illinois' coaching position, as GCU advisor and former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo is advising Illinois (his alma mater) on its ongoing coaching search.

But on Wednesday morning, Majerle told ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy that he's just getting started in Phoenix.

"Yeah, (they're) just rumors," Majerle told Fouhy on 1580 The Fanatic. "I have something I have to do here first, and that’s, like I said, to be able to help take this team to the (NCAA) Tournament and put this school on the map.

"I’m very happy here. I enjoy it here. I work for a terrific president, President (Brian) Mueller, and obviously Mr. Colangelo. I couldn’t be in a better situation, so I’m very happy here at GCU."

Majerle said Colangelo has been instrumental in helping GCU schedule powerhouse opponents such as Duke, Kentucky and Louisville, which has helped boost the Lopes' national profile.

"Mr. Colangelo’s done a terrific job here," Majerle said, noting GCU is scheduled to play Illinois in each of the next two seasons. "We’re excited about that, and we continue to (schedule) better and better teams. Mr. Colangelo’s been a great ambassador for GCU and our program."

Majerle has coached the Lopes to back-to-back 20-win seasons and an 11-3 record in the Western Athletic Conference in 2016-17. He said his goals are to get the Lopes to the NCAA Tournament next season and turn them into a perennial top-25 team, like other mid-major schools such as Gonzaga and Butler have accomplished.

"When I was signed here four years ago, President Mueller said he wants us to be an eventual top-25 team, and that's the one thing that we've been working for since day one, and we continue to do better and better," Majerle said. "We can get there. I think we will. It's going to take some time, some patience, but we've been able to make great strides with that.

"We're excited. We worked really hard and our program is continued to grow, and I'm excited for next year."