FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2017, file photo, Indiana coach Tom Crean applauds during the team's NCAA college basketball game against Illinois in Bloomington, Ind. Georgia has hired former Indiana coach Crean as its coach, capping a fast-paced search that began when Mark Fox was fired on Saturday. Crean was hired one day after former Ohio State coach Thad Matta withdrew from consideration. Georgia announced the hire Thursday night, March 15. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Georgia hires former Indiana coach Tom Crean to replace Fox

March 15, 2018 - 9:49 pm

Georgia hired former Indiana coach Tom Crean as its coach on Thursday, capping a fast-paced search only five days after firing Mark Fox.

Crean was hired by athletic director Greg McGarity one day after former Ohio State coach Thad Matta withdrew from consideration.

McGarity described Crean as "one of the most successful coaches in college basketball over the past two decades."

Crean was 356-231 in 18 seasons at Marquette and Indiana from 1999-2017. He led teams to nine NCAA appearances, four Sweet 16s and the 2003 Final Four with a Marquette team led by Dwyane Wade.

"His teams have consistently been participants in postseason play, and his players have been extremely successful in the classroom," McGarity said. "He's going to be a great fit for the University of Georgia."

Crean was 166-135 as Indiana's coach from 2008-17. He took over a program facing NCAA probation and scholarship restrictions. After a 28-66 record in his first three seasons, Indiana was 138-69 in his final six years, including Big Ten Championships in 2013 and 2016.

Fox was fired Saturday after earning two NCAA Tournament bids in nine seasons.

Crean, who will turn 52 on March 25, said Georgia, best known for its football tradition, also can challenge for national titles in basketball.

"Make no mistake, this is a basketball program inside of a great university that can compete for championships doing it the right way," Crean said in a statement released by Georgia. "We will work diligently and with great energy to make everyone associated with the University of Georgia very proud of our efforts."

Georgia has scheduled a Friday news conference to introduce Crean.

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