In what comes somewhat as a surprise to me, apparently Anthony Grant — the VCU Rams head coach for the last three seasons (76-25) — has decided to accept an offer from the University of Alabama to coach its basketball team. In spite of what sense of disappointment VCU fans may be feeling, Grant has been […]
In what comes somewhat as a surprise to me, apparently Anthony Grant — the VCU Rams head coach for the last three seasons (76-25) — has decided to accept an offer from the University of Alabama to coach its basketball team.
In spite of what sense of disappointment VCU fans may be feeling, Grant has been good to VCU — two NCAAs in three seasons. And, unless there are defections, Grant isn’t exactly leaving the cupboard bare. At this writing, I have no idea if any VCU players might be considering leaving. Obviously, one might wonder about Larry Sanders.
VCU will reload. Grant is leaving open a good job that plenty of up-and-coming coaches would love to have. After the success of Jeff Capel and Grant, there’s no reason to think VCU president Eugene Trani isn’t prepared to make it a hat trick.
This hiring will surely be seen as Trani’s departing gift to the basketball program I know he loves. Trani has been in the media room after most VCU games for years, demonstrating his knowledge of the game. So, I’ll be surprised if VCU doesn’t act swiftly to replace Grant.
And, while I’m at it, a tip of the Fan District Hub’s cap goes out to Anthony Grant. He is a class act in a game that needs more like him.
Update: Here’s the official press release from VCU’s Chris Kowalczyk :
Anthony Grant has resigned as head coach men’s basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University, effective immediately, to accept the same position at the University of Alabama, VCU Athletic Director Norwood Teague announced Friday.
“We’re certainly disappointed to lose Anthony,” Teague said. “However, his service at VCU was unmatched, and we want what’s best for Anthony and his family. It was an absolute honor to have him here at VCU, and Alabama is getting a one-of-a-kind person and coach.”
Grant’s three-year tenure was one of great success for the Rams.
The 42-year-old Miami, Fla. native went 76-25 in 101 games at VCU. His team dominated the Colonial Athletic Association, capturing two conference tournament championships and three regular season crowns. Under Grant, the Rams were 52-10 against CAA foes.
The Rams reached two NCAA Tournaments, including 2007, when VCU upset sixth-seeded Duke, 79-77, in the first round. The victory was the program’s first NCAA Tournament triumph in 23 years. This season the Rams took UCLA to the wire before dropping a 65-64 decision in the first round in Philadelphia March 19.
VCU never won fewer than 24 games in each of Grant’s three seasons, including a school-record 28 in 2006-07.
A national search will begin immediately.