Fired coach Majerle sues GCU for breach of contract

FILE - In this Dec. 9. 2018, file photo, Grand Canyon coach Dan Majerle watches his team play Nevada during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Phoenix. Former men's basketball coach Dan Majerle has filed a lawsuit for breach of contract after being fired by Grand Canyon in March 2020.

PHOENIX (AP) — Former men's basketball coach Dan Majerle has filed a lawsuit for breach of contract after being fired by Grand Canyon earlier this year.

In the lawsuit filed in Superior Court on Monday, Majerle seeks the full amount of a contract that ran through 2022-23 before he was fired after seven seasons on March 12.

The lawsuit claims GCU breached the employment agreement with Majerle by not honoring the contract's severance provision after firing him without written grounds for dismissal.

“Dan is disappointed that GCU has decided not to honor their contract,” Majerle's attorney Dana Hooper said in an email. “He simply wants what is fair and proper under the contract and the law."

Majerle was a fan favorite during seven seasons with the NBA's Phoenix Suns and was hired by Grand Canyon in 2013 on the recommendation of former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo.

Majerle was brought in to guide the Antelopes in their transition to Division I. Grand Canyon won at least 20 games its first two Division I seasons, but went 13-17 in an injury-plagued 2019-20 season.

Majerle was fired hours after the Western Athletic Conference and NCAA tournaments were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was replaced by former Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew five days later.

“The University financially supported Coach Majerle and the men’s basketball program at the highest level during his seven-year tenure and wanted nothing but the best for him and the program," Grand Canyon said in a statement. "We regret that Coach Majerle’s tenure had to end the way it did, but the University is prepared to defend itself and its decision if necessary should Coach Majerle decide to continue with litigation."

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