Tuesday afternoon, Rob Lanier was introduced as the new head coach of the Georgia State men’s basketball team. Lanier inherits a Panthers program that is coming off a second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and are two-time defending Sun Belt Champions.

Lanier arrives to Atlanta after a Sweet Sixteen appearance with the Tennessee Volunteers. For Lanier, he knew this was a great opportunity for him and is excited to take over.

“I knew the success that was taking place in the program, I knew at the very least there was a winning culture here and that was attractive,” said Lanier. “I know we are in a great conference, I know got a winning program, but I want more.”

It took a lot for Lanier to leave Tennessee but the support he received from his family and head coach Barnes was enough.

“I’m not doing this without my wife and her support. You have to have the support of your family,” as Lanier described the support from his family.

“Right away, his thing was, ‘Man that’s great for you,’” said Lanier on what Barnes said to him. “If you think you could have a great relationship with that AD [Athletic Director] and that President, and you think you can finish your career there, then you have to go do it.”

Lanier is familiar with the Sun Belt conference and knows what it takes to keep having success.

“If we are the best, that does not necessarily mean we are our best,” Lanier said. “Leagues are competitive. I do not expect this will be any different. I do not think I will be surprised by anything.”

Along with being their best, changes are coming on offense and defense.

“Defensively first, we will be a man to man team. If you’re in the backcourt, we will be back there with you. We will guard you all the way up the floor,” said Lanier.

“Offensively, we want to play a full court motion offense.”

For the future, Lanier wants success in multiple ways instead of one.

“There is no one thing. I want us to be great. When people hear Georgia State, I want them to think ‘first class,’ ‘winning,’” Lanier said.

“We want to be good in every way that we can control.”

Lanier succeeds former coach Ron Hunter who departed for Tulane two weeks ago. Hunter led the Panthers to three NCAA tournament appearances and three Sun Belt championships

Photo by: Anfernee Patterson/The Atlanta Voice

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