Former Gator basketball assistant Anthony Grant joined the Sportscene with Steve Russell Show to discuss his remarkable season as head coach of the Dayton men’s basketball team.
Grant was an assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan from 1996-2006. Grant went on to become head coach at Virginia Commonwealth University and Alabama. He then took a break from college hoops and began coaching in the NBA.
Time in the NBA
Grant reunited with Donovan in 2015. He became an assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder and stayed with the team through 2017.
Grant said coaching in the NBA allowed him to grow and learn. He has the philosophy of pushing himself, his staff and players to get better every day.
Coaching at Dayton
In 2017, Grant took a head coaching position at Dayton, his alma mater. Grant said he was attracted to the opportunity to coach the Flyers because of the university’s rich tradition and history of basketball.
During Grant’s first season at Dayton, the Flyers went 14-17. The following year they improved to 21-12.
Going into the 2019-2020 season, Grant was hopeful that his team would be able to compete at the highest level.
Dayton ended up going 29-2 this past season. The team’s only losses were to Kansas and Colorado. The Flyers were undefeated at home and were looking forward to an opportunity to win a conference title and compete in the NCAA Tournament.
Then, COVID-19 destroyed all hopes of advancing to the postseason.
It was tough to accept the circumstances, but Grant said he told his team to choose to be grateful for what they were able to accomplish during the season. COVID-19 could not take away what Dayton accomplished in 31 games.
Grant was named National Coach of the Year by Sporting News.
Ultimately, Grant and his team knew that the decision to cancel the NCAA tournament and conference championship was the right one.