FAIRFAX, Va. (DC News Now) — On Thursday, former George Mason guard Tony Skinn was hired by his alma mater as the new men’s basketball head coach.

Skinn was a starter on the Patriots’ Final Four run in 2006, and will now return to Fairfax in hopes to bring the magic back with him.

When Skinn was hired, the response from the community was ecstatic, especially from Skinn’s former George Mason teammates Lamar Butler, Jai Lewis, and Tim Burns.

“I feel like he paid his dues,” said Lewis. “He’s been at some great programs, his recruitment level is extremely high.”

“You have to give a reason for kids to want to play at home,” said Butler. “Making a hire like Tony, kids want to play for a coach like that.”

“I think that excitement is back,” said Burns. “I think everyone thinks Tony earned this opportunity. We know what he does well, we know how good of a leader he is, the character in the locker room, the recruiting that he brings. It’s just going to be really interesting to see how he builds this out.”

Skinn will look to get George Mason back into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011.