Monday, April 13, 2015

Anthony Grant Reunites with Billy Donovan at Florida

Former Alabama head coach Anthony Grant will be back on the SEC basketball sidelines next season.

Grant has been hired as an assistant on Billy Donovan's staff at Florida.

Here is a release from UF:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In the aftermath of Alabama’s decision last month not to retain Anthony Grant, the coach sat down with his wife to discuss their next move. The most attractive option was to sit out a year and spend time with his family.

The Grants decided they could do that in Gainesville, a place they still called “home.”

But then a spot opened up on Florida coach coach Billy Donovan’s staff and, lo and behold, Grant and the Gators officially were reunited Monday when he was hired to replace outgoing assistant Matt McCall, who Sunday was named head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga.

For Grant and his family, the developments were as whirlwind as they were fortuitous.

“Pretty easy call, man. It’s all about relationships,” Grant told of his return alongside not only Donovan, but also assistant coach John Pelphrey, director of basketball operations Darren Hertz, head trainer David “Duke” Werner and executive assistant Tracy Pfaff, each of whom he shared years of success with before embarking on his head-coaching career. “Pretty much everyone in that office is like family to me. So this is like coming home. The way it all worked out? God has a plan.”

Grant accompanied Donovan from Marshall when the staff made the jump to UF in 1996. He remained with the Gators for 10 seasons, leaving in 2006 -- after the first of Florida's two NCAA championships -- to become head coach at Virginia Commonwealth.

In three seasons at VCU, the Rams went 76-25 under Grant, including two NCAA Tournament berths (with an upset of Duke in ’07) and one trip to the NIT. In 2009, Grant was hired at Alabama, where he went 117-85 over the last six seasons, with one NCAA bid and three trips to the NIT.

Now, he’s back.

“Obviously, Anthony is one of my best friends,” Donovan said. “He’s also a great coach.”

Complete Release

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