Pennell taking over Grand Canyon program - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Pennell taking over Grand Canyon program

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Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009 11:24 am | Updated: 1:54 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Grand Canyon University will hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. today to announce it has hired Russ Pennell as the Antelopes' head basketball coach.

Pennell, 48, will receive a multi-year contract and usher Grand Canyon from Division II to Division I over the next two years. He will replace coach Dan Nichols, who went 13-14 in his one season at GCU.

Pennell led the Arizona Wildcats to a 21-14 record in his lone season as interim head coach. With Pennell in charge, Arizona advanced to the Sweet 16 before losing to top-seeded Louisville.

Pennell's new job will allow him to return to Phoenix, the city he considers an adopted hometown. Pennell was at Arizona State from 1998 to 2006 and spent the 2007-08 season as a radio analyst for the Sun Devils.

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