A longtime assistant to Billy Donovan, Grant will return to the Florida sidelines this season to take over the role that was vacated by Matt McCall. McCall will replace Will Wade as the head coach at Chattanooga. Wade was recently named the new head coach at VCU, where, coincidentally, Grant spent three seasons as a head coach after leaving Florida the first time.
“Pretty much everyone in that office is like family to me,” Grant told Gatorzone.com. “So this is like coming home. The way it all worked out? God has a plan.”
Grant went with Donovan from Marshall to Florida back in 1996, and he was an assistant with the Gators until 2006, when he accepted the head coaching position at VCU. After three seasons in which Grant led the Rams to a 76-25 record, he took over at Alabama. Grant spent six seasons with the Crimson Tide before parting ways earlier this spring.
Anthony Grant has been fired by Alabama, the school announced on Sunday afternoon, precisely 45 minutes before the start of the Selection Show.
Grant had been the head coach of the Crimson Tide for six seasons, but he reached the NCAA tournament just once in those six seasons after going to the Big Dance twice in three seasons while at VCU.
“We are ultimately judged by wins and losses on the court. We haven’t made satisfactory progress in that area,” Bill Battle, Alabama’s athletic director, said in the release.
The Tide went just 18-14 this past season, going 8-10 in the SEC and losing in the first round of the SEC tournament. Grant won the SEC West in 2011 and finished second in the division in 2013, but both years his Alabama team missed the NCAA tournament.
One name to keep an eye on as his replacement: Murray State head coach Steve Prohm.
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant announced on Monday that junior forward Shannon Hale will get surgery this week and be out for the rest of the season. The 6-foot-8 Hale suffered the foot injury in the first half of the Feb. 24 contest against South Carolina.
Hale averaged 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season for the Crimson Tide, who are 17-12 and fighting for postseason positioning. Already without guard Ricky Tarrant for much of the second half of the season, now Alabama has to rely on inexperienced players for their two remaining regular season games and the postseason.