SMU coach Jankovich retires after 39-year career

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After 39 seasons in college coaching, SMU’s Tim Jankovich has announced his retirement, the university announced Tuesday.

Jankovich has been at SMU since 2012, spending the first four years as the associate head coach and the last six as head coach. Overall, he has spent 39 years in college coaching, with a career record of 282-185 with other head coaching stops at Illinois State and North Texas.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have coached at SMU for the past 10 years,” Jankovich said. “… Basketball has been at the center of my life since the 8th grade, including 39 years in college coaching. I have loved and cherished every minute of it. But with those incredible memories has come tremendous sacrifice.

“I find myself at a stage in life where I no longer can in good conscience make the necessary sacrifices that this position demands. I feel a strong pull to spend more time with the people whom I have unfortunately neglected the most over the years — my dad, my family and my friends. This is why I have decided to step down and retire from my position as head basketball coach. We have loved our time here at SMU and will cherish our memories forever.”

The Mustangs were one of the final teams left out of the NCAA tournament this season, going 24-9 with two wins over Memphis and a victory over Houston. Their season ended Sunday with a 12-point home loss to Washington State in the NIT.

Overall, Jankovich’s record at SMU was 125-64.

He led the Mustangs to a 9-0 record as interim head coach in 2015-16 before taking over for Larry Brown in July 2016. In his first full season at the helm, Jankovich guided SMU to a 30-5 campaign, finishing 17-1 in the AAC and earning a 6-seed in the NCAA tournament. That was the Mustangs’ lone tournament appearance under Jankovich, however, earning NIT bids the last two seasons.

Prior to joining SMU’s program, Jankovich spent 29 years at 12 different schools, including five seasons as head coach at Illinois State. He guided the Redbirds to four NIT appearances, winning at least 21 games and finishing in the top-three of the Missouri Valley Conference four times over that span.

North Texas’ Grant McCasland is the top target to replace Jankovich at SMU, sources told ESPN.

McCasland, who has deep coaching roots in Texas, led the Mean Green to an NCAA tournament win over Purdue Boilermakers last season and a Conference USA regular-season title this season.

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