Head Coach Greg McDermott
Graduating student-athletes, record win totals, sold-out crowds, regular-season and tournament titles, postseason success and a three-time All-American son are part of the legacy that Greg McDermott has created in his first seven seasons on The Hilltop.
Named the 16th head coach in Creighton men’s basketball history on April 27, 2010, McDermott has gone 166-82 in his first seven seasons, while returning the program to the national rankings with an up-tempo style of play that has fans turning out in record numbers.
Sixteen of 17 seniors to complete their eligibility the past four years have graduated, with 12 going on to play professionally and the two others to graduate school.
Last year’s Bluejay team went 25-10, spending 16 consecutive weeks in the top-25, including a program-record No. 7 mark on January 16th. CU won the Paradise Jam and scored a school-record 2,864 points while posting four victories against top-25 competition. CU started the season 18-1 for the program’s best 19 game start ever, while its 13 victories to start to the campaign was its best since 1942-43. CU finished fifth nationally in home attendance, welcoming 17,413 fans per contest.
McDermott’s team was aided by the successful integration of the top scoring newcomer in program history, Marcus Foster (18.2 ppg.), as well as 7-foot center Justin Patton, who declared for the NBA Draft following his redshirt freshman season.
Creighton’s 2015-16 team finished 20-15 overall, winning a pair of postseason games to reach the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament. CU won the Men Who Speak Up Main Event in Las Vegas, beat rival Nebraska by double-digits for a fifth straight season, and picked up victories over No. 5 Xavier and No. 18 Butler.
In 2013-14 McDermott’s club led the nation in three-point percentage, three-pointers made and assist/turnover ratio, while also ranking second in three-pointers per game and assists per game. His son, Doug, swept all 14 National Player of the Year awards, led the nation in scoring (26.7 ppg.), became the fifth-leading scorer in Division I history (3,150 career points) and went on to become the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Making the big leap from the MVC to the BIG EAST in 2013-14, Creighton finished second in its new conference in both the regular-season and league tournament. In the process, CU owned a pair of lopsided wins over top-10 Villanova, including a 96-68 road win that saw the Bluejays drain a three-pointer on each of their first nine possessions.
His 2012-13 team swept MVC regular-season and tournament titles, defeating rival Wichita State in both deciding contests, and finished 28-8. The Jays won an NCAA Tournament game in consecutive seasons for the first time, before falling to Duke in the third round.
During the 2012-13 campaign Doug McDermott repeated as MVC Player of the Year and once again was named First Team All-American. He led the nation in field goals made and points scored, while also setting then-CU records for points in a season and career. Additionally, Grant Gibbs and Gregory Echenique were named Honorable Mention All-MVC, with Echenique earning a spot on the All-Defensive Team for a third straight year. Ethan Wragge was named MVC Sixth Man of the Year.
Creighton tied a school record in 2011-12 with 29 wins and reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament, while establishing a then-program record with 2,772 points. The team spent 16 weeks ranked in the Top 25, and earned its inaugural First Team AP All-American in program history when his son was honored following a record-setting season. Doug was the first sophomore in league history named MVC Player of the Year, setting a school record with 801 points while also leading the nation with 307 field goals.
Creighton finished the year ranked No. 19 by the AP, and also ranked sixth nationally for its average home attendance of 16,665.
McDermott’s first year in Omaha was also a success. He led Creighton to a 23-16 record in his first campaign, as the Jays won a school-record four postseason games, advancing to the CBI finals.
Doug McDermott swept MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year awards while becoming the first freshman since 1952 to be named First Team All-MVC. Point guard Antoine Young was named Second Team All-Valley and also earned a spot on the MVC’s Most-Improved Team.
Additionally, Echenique was named to the MVC All-Newcomer and All-Defensive Teams, while Jahenns Manigat landed an All-Freshman Team spot alongside Doug McDermott.
Four members of his first team (Kaleb Korver, Matthew Dorwart, Ross Ferrarini and Derek Sebastian) were honored for their work in the classroom, while the accolades also piled up for their performance on the court. Dorwart, Ferrarini, Sebastian and Taylor Stormberg earned that accolade in 2011-12 as well.
A native of Cascade, Iowa, McDermott owns a 315-213 record in 16 seasons on the Division I sidelines. He has a 446-277 career mark in 23 seasons as a head coach, which includes nine trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Before coming to Creighton, McDermott spent four seasons as head coach at Iowa State.
McDermott won 59 games at Iowa State, where his teams consistently ranked in the upper half of the Big 12 in scoring defense and three-point shooting. He coached five players who earned all-conference recognition, including Craig Brackins, who was the first Cyclone since 2001 to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2009. He also coached Mike Taylor, who was a second-round pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and played for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2008-09.
McDermott’s 2008-09 squad broke school records in three-pointers made (236) and fewest turnover average (12.1 tpg.) in a season. His 2009-10 club saw preseason Wooden Award nominee Brackins finish as the Big 12’s only player to rank in the Top 10 in conference scoring, rebounding and blocks. Additionally, Marquis Gilstrap was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 pick after being the only player in the conference to average a double-double in conference play (15.3 ppg., 10.3 rpg.).
McDermott’s meteoric rise in the head coaching ranks occurred in his five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Northern Iowa. After taking over a program that had not posted a winning season since 1997, McDermott’s recipe for success launched the UNI program into the national spotlight. In his third season with the Panthers, McDermott led UNI to the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and its second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history while recording a 21-10 mark.
He backed up UNI’s 2004 season with yet another NCAA Tournament bid in 2005, this time earning the Panthers’ first at-large berth with a No. 11 seed. The Panthers tallied a 21-11 record and took No. 6 seed Wisconsin to the wire, falling 57-52. The 2006 UNI season was just as successful, as McDermott led the Panthers to their first Associated Press Top 25 ranking while tying a then-school record with 23 wins. UNI defeated five NCAA Tournament teams (Iowa, LSU, Wichita State, Southern Illinois and Bucknell) en route to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with a No. 10 seed. McDermott compiled a 90-63 record at UNI, earning him a spot in the school’s Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
McDermott has proven to be a top-notch recruiter and a sound tactician. He has coached 35 players who have earned some sort of conference award in his 16 years as a Division I coach, including four players who earned First Team All-MVC honors a combined seven times (Doug McDermott, David Gruber, Ben Jacobson, Grant Stout), one First Team All-Big 12 pick (Brackins), two First Team All-BIG EAST picks (Doug McDermott and Marcus Foster) and 2017 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Justin Patton.
McDermott received his first head coaching job at Wayne State (Neb.) from 1994-2000. He led the Wildcats to four-straight 20-win seasons, one Northern Sun Conference title and a pair of NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 berth in 2000. He won 116 games in his six years with the Wildcats while earning conference coach of the year honors in 2000.
He left Wayne State to take over the coaching duties at Division II North Dakota State for one season (2000-01) before heading to Cedar Falls. The Bison finished 15-11 overall and defeated three top-25 opponents on the road in 2001.
McDermott began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of North Dakota from 1989-94. During his tenure, UND made five consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, were ranked No. 1 in the final 1991 NCAA poll and won two North Central Conference crowns. He was also a part of two North Central Region Championships and compiled a 126-37 record in his six seasons.
A fourth-team All-State center for Cascade High School in 1983, McDermott entered the IHSAA Hall of Fame in 2015 for his playing prowess as a prep.
He accepted UNI head coach Jim Berry’s scholarship offer to play for the Panthers. He played three seasons for Berry and two years for Eldon Miller at UNI, recording 1,033 career points and ranks 36th on UNI’s all-time scoring chart. As a junior, he ranked 16th nationally in field-goal percentage (58.7 percent) and shot 60.3 percent from the field as a senior. The 6-foot-8 center was named second-team all-conference as a junior and was a team co-captain as a senior. He received his B.A. degree from Northern Iowa in 1988. He played one season professionally in Switzerland after graduation before beginning his coaching career.
McDermott and his wife, Theresa, have three children: Nick (28), Doug (25) and Sydney (17). Doug is entering his fourth season in the NBA and plays for the New York Knicks.