South Alabama names Graves new basketball coach

Mar 25, 2013 - 9:29 PM Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) - South Alabama has named Matthew Graves as the school's next head basketball coach, director of athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann announced at a press conference on Monday.

Graves spent the last nine seasons with his alma mater, Butler, as an assistant coach and was promoted to associate head coach in 2010.

During his time as an assistant with Butler, the team complied a 244-98 record and made back-to-back trips to the national championship game in 2010 and 2011.

"I'm excited to be a Jaguar now," Graves said. "This is not a rebuilding process. We're going to have sustained success from day one. People will be proud of us on and off the court."

South Alabama compiled a 17-13 record this past season, including a 14-6 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. Longtime coach Ronnie Arrow began the season at the helm, but announced his retirement after just 10 games. Arrow was the school's and conference's winningest coach.

His replacement, Jeff Price, took over duties as interim head coach and guided the Jaguars to a 12-8 record and their first postseason appearance in five years. South Alabama fell to Tulane in the first-round of the Tournament.

Graves was a four-year basketball letterwinner at Butler and helped the team advance to its first NCAA Tournament in 35 years during the 1996-97 season. He finished his Butler playing career with 994 points.

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