Following up on something that HoopDirt.com first mentioned back on 6/29 (DAILY DIRT: New York Edition). Nebraska Wesleyan assistant Casey McGraw has officially been named as the head men’s basketball coach at Elmira. Here is the official release from the college:
Elmira College Interim Director of Athletics Rhonda Faunce is pleased to announce former national championship-winning coach Casey McGraw was selected from a nationwide search to lead the EC men’s basketball program.
McGraw becomes the eighth head coach of the Soaring Eagles in the program’s 51-year history. He takes over for 13-year veteran Randie Torgalski, who stepped down this spring to focus on his duties as an assistant athletic director and head softball coach.
“Casey’s success as an assistant is undeniable,” Faunce said. “He was part of one of the best Division III teams in the country over the past few years. We think he is a perfect fit for Elmira College. I am excited and hopeful he has the energy to propel our men’s basketball program to new levels of success. I can’t wait for him to arrive on campus and get things started.”
“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the Elmira College community,” McGraw said. “I can’t thank Rhonda Faunce, President (Chuck) Lindsey, and the entire search committee enough for believing in my ability to lead this program to new heights. I would also like to thank Coach Wellman and each of our players at NWU for being instrumental in my development as a coach and person over the past four years.
“This is a dream come true and I am fired up to work with this spectacular group of student-athletes and future Soaring Eagles to come.”
Originally from the Albany suburb of Delmar, New York, McGraw returns to the East Coast after spending the last four years as an assistant at one of the most successful programs in all of Division III, Nebraska Wesleyan University. His tenure in Lincoln, Nebraska, included three NCAA tournament appearances and a magical run to the team’s first-ever national championship in 2018. In his four seasons, the Prairie Wolves posted a superb 85-12 overall record, an 8-2 mark in NCAA tournament games, and swept American Rivers Conference regular-season and tournament championships in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
While working alongside former Division III National Coach of the Year, Dale Wellman, McGraw helped Nebraska Wesleyan finish among the best in the country statistically. From 2017-20, the Prairie Wolves were no worse than fifth nationally in field-goal percentage, and in back-to-back seasons from 2017-19, they ranked inside the top 5 in assists per game, assist-to-turnover ratio, and scoring margin.
Success off the court was also vital to McGraw and the staff at Nebraska Wesleyan over the past four years. Numerous Prairie Wolves were rewarded for outstanding academic achievement, highlighted by the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-American® of the Year and Elite 90 Award winner, Cooper Cook. In 2018-19, the Prairie Wolves were tied for the lead among all divisions of college basketball with 10 student-athletes on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court. In October of 2020, College Athletic Advisor included Nebraska Wesleyan on its list of the “Top 20 Men’s Basketball Programs That Inspire,” a recognition measured in part by strong academic performance and the institution’s holistic development of student-athletes.
Before relocating to the Great Plains, McGraw began his coaching career at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, during the 2016-17 academic year. A four-year letter winner at Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont, McGraw was a stretch four who routinely contributed from 3-point range. He was elected team captain and, as a senior, he ranked among team leaders in assists (44), 3-pointers (32), and blocked shots (13).
McGraw graduated from Castleton in 2016 with a bachelor’s in Sports Administration and a minor in Coaching.