Just 24 hours after an NIT loss to the Indiana State Sycamores, SMU announced that it was firing head coach Rob Lanier after two seasons. Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2024; Boca Raton, Florida, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs head coach Rob Lanier looks on against the Florida Atlantic Owls during the first half at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The SMU Mustangs will be in the market for a new men’s basketball coach this offseason.

Just 24 hours after their NIT first-round loss to the Indiana State Sycamores, the school announced Thursday it would be parting ways with head coach Rob Lanier after just two seasons.

Lanier went 30-35 in his two seasons at the helm, including a 20-13 finish this season that landed the team back in the NIT for the first time since 2022.

Athletic Director Rick Hart told ESPN, “Our focus now turns to finding a new leader as we prepare for the next era of SMU athletics in the ACC.” SMU will make the move from the American Athletic Conference to the ACC in July along with the Stanford Cardinal and California Golden Bears.

Before taking the SMU job, Lanier had spent three years as head coach of the Georgia State Panthers, where he had three winning seasons and took the team to the 2022 NCAA Tournament where it lost to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first round.

While it’s understandable that SMU feels like it needs a more accomplished coach as it moves into a new conference, something they likely weren’t expecting when they hired Lanier. It’s still a risk. The job has long been good but not great, and moving to a tougher conference means expectations will be higher.