After spending six years at the helm of the men’s basketball program for the Wildcats, Gravelle Craig and Bethune-Cookman University agreed Monday evening to part ways, allowing for Craig to seek fresher and different opportunities in the field of athletics, as his contract expires at the end of the month.
“At the end of the season, we sat down as always to evaluate the state of our program; and after discussion, Coach Craig and I arrived at the decision that the timing was right for him to pursue new career opportunities, while we seek new leadership of the Wildcats basketball program for the future,” said Lynn W. Thompson, BCU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “We are grateful for his leadership and the impact that he had on our student-athletes during his tenure and we will move promptly to focus on the right coach who will build upon the foundation that Gravelle Craig put in place here.”
Upon taking over the program in 2011, Gravelle Craig compiled an overall record of 74-123 across six seasons in Daytona Beach. His Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) record stood at 46-50 through the 2016-17 campaign. During his first season, Craig helped the Wildcats to the 2012 MEAC title game against Norfolk State. The following year, the Wildcats advanced to the MEAC semifinals of the tournament against Morgan State.
“Bethune-Cookman afforded me an opportunity to become a Division I men’s basketball head coach,” said Craig in a statement Monday evening. “It was an opportunity that I will forever cherish, and one that allowed me to experience something that had never been done at BCU before – advancing to the MEAC Tournament championship game.”
Twice during Craig’s tenure, the Wildcats finished in the top five of the MEAC final standings, including a fourth place finish and an 11-5 MEAC mark in 2011-12. That same season, BCU amassed a winning season with an overall mark of 18-17.
Prior to his appointment as head coach in 2011, Craig served for seven years as an assistant coach for the Wildcats under former head coach Clifford Reed Jr. Craig came to Bethune-Cookman after spending the 2003-04 season at Chicago State University as an assistant coach. While at Chicago State, he was a part of the coaching staff that guided CSU to the most wins in school history on the Division I level of athletics with 13 overall wins. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia for two seasons throughout the 2001-02 and 2002-03 campaigns.
“Again, I want to thank Lynn Thompson and the entire Bethune-Cookman University community for believing in me to take the reins of the program back in 2011; and for believing in me now as I embark upon a new future,” added Craig. “BCU will always have a part of my heart, and I wish the program well now and far into the future.”
A search for the new men’s basketball head coach will begin immediately. The current staff of assistant coaches remains intact, and will continue to serve in that capacity until a successor for the program is named.