Anthony Grant of Dayton and Dawn Staley of South Carolina named Naismith Coach of the Year


A shortened season cannot prevent the reflection and recognition of certain exceptional campaigns in male and female university basketball. There were remarkable coaching jobs – dozens – in college hoops last season. But two were particularly remarkable and memorable.

CBS Sports headquarters announced the winner of Werner Ladder Naismith’s Coach of the Year on Thursday. In men’s, Anthony Grant of Dayton, who has won the most awards in this category in recent days and weeks, including here at CBS Sports. South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was an obvious choice in women’s basketball to earn the honor.

South Carolina won a fifth SEC regular season title under Staley, which led their team to the best Division I record – men or women. The Gamecocks are 32-1 and were clearly the best, if not the most dominant, team in the college. South Carolina remained undefeated (16-0) in the league and ended the season with a streak of 26 consecutive victories, the longest winning streak in men’s and women’s hoops at any level: DI, D-II and D-III.

Staley defeated Adia Barnes of Arizona, Kelly Graves of Oregon and Joe McKeown of Northwestern. This is the first season in which Staley’s has won the National Coach of the Year title. She also won the SEC Coach of the Year for the fourth time.

On the men’s side, Grant beat Scott Drew of Baylor, Brian Dutcher of San Diego State and Leonard Hamilton of Florida State. What these four coaches had in common: They coached their programs until their best season in the history of the school. Grant led Dayton to a 29-2 record, the two losses tying Gonzaga and San Diego State for the lowest number of D-I men’s basketballs.


But it was a peculiar fact that probably propelled Grant – and will be part of the tradition of this Dayton team – that helped him: the Flyers were undefeated in regulation. Their two losses came on neutral overtime against potential NCAA tournament teams (No. 1 seed in Kansas and No. 9 seed in Colorado). Dayton ended his season on a 20-game winning streak, his 18-0 Atlantic 10 record marking the first time since George Washington in 2006 that a team had led the table at the conference.

UD was the only men’s university basketball team not to lose a league game this season.

This Dayton team, led by Obi Toppin, Jalen Crutcher and Trey Landers, was of course special. Grant, a modest man who once thrived at VCU and had a bumpy blow in Alabama, returned to college basketball after two years away, sitting on the bench alongside his mentor, Billy Donovan, with the ‘Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA expedition clearly had its benefits for Grant, who becomes a rare example of a coach who was previously fired for college employment, but who nonetheless won the title of national coach of the year.

“I’m so happy for him,” Donovan told CBS Sports. “He’s one of my closest friends, he’s a big, big human being. He’s a much better person than him as a coach. I have always admired him and his character. I admire him, who he is as a person and I trust the guy explicitly. The price could not have gone to a nicer guy, a better guy who does things the right way. “

Donovan shared a story about how well-loved Grant was in the mid-2000s, the great talented men of Florida – Joakim Noah and Al Horford – were so invested in Grant that they briefly debated the statement for the NBA draft, and not to return for the 2006 -07 season, after Grant was offered the VCU job and told the team that he was going to take it. It wasn’t out of anger, it was out of devotion to Grant. Without him on staff, things would not be the same. As it turns out, Grant’s sense of loyalty was so strong, Donovan said he’s actually going to withdraw from the VCU offer because of his dedication to Florida and these players.

Donovan would not leave him. Grant was taking this VCU job no matter what. He did – and Grant coached the Rams to the NCAA tournament twice in three seasons, including Duke’s infamous upset at the 2007 NCAA tournament.

“His mindset has always been to help invest in the players, invest in the coaches,” said Donovan. “He’s really an incredibly selfless guy. I think it’s anchored. I think he has it all together. He is incredibly modest. He is not a networker, he is not a self-promoter. He never tried to push for jobs… .. He never searches for the limelight, never searches for publicity, he just wanted to do the right thing and be as good a coach as possible and help his guys. “

It’s a particularly sweet postscript for a bittersweet end of the season, as Grant is a Dayton alumnus and actually helped the Flyers make the NCAA tournament in the mid-1980s. Donovan who ended up being the first intermediary for Dayton and Grant, helping the two sides to meet in Oklahoma City a few days before officially taking office in 2017.

Now, Grant has Dayton as high and good as ever, after a season of 29 wins, a program record.

Men’s all-time winners

Year Player School
2020 Anthony Grant Dayton
2019 Rick barnes Tennessee
2018 Tony Bennett Virginia
2017 Mark few Gonzaga
2016 Jay Wright Villanova
2015 John Calipari Kentucky
2014 Gregg Marshall Wichita State
2013 Jim Larranaga Miami
2012 Bill self Kansas
2011 Steve Fisher State of san diego
2010 Jim Boeheim Syracuse
2009 Jamie Dixon Pittsburgh
2008 John Calipari Memphis
2007 Tony Bennett Washington state
2006 Jay Wright Villanova
2005 Bruce Weber Illinois
2004 Phil Martelli Saint Joseph’s
2003 Tubby smith Kentucky
2002 Ben howland Pittsburgh
2001 Rod Barnes Ole Miss
2000 Mike Montgomery Stanford
1999 Mike Krzyzewski Duke
1998 Bill guthridge North Carolina
1997 Roy Williams Kansas
1996 John Calipari UMass
1995 Jim Harrick UCLA
1994 Nolan Richardson Arkansas
1993 Dean smith North Carolina
1992 Mike Krzyzewski Duke
1991 Randy Ayers state of ohio
1990 Bobby Cremins Georgia Tech
1989 Mike Krzyzewski Duke
1988 Larry Brown Kansas
1987 Bob knight Indiana

Winners of all time

Year Player School
2020 Dawn staley Caroline from the south
2019 Lisa Bluder Iowa
2018 Vic Schaefer Mississippi State
2017 Geno Auriemma Uconn
2016 Geno Auriemma Uconn
2015 Courtney Banghart Princeton
2014 McGraw Muffet our Lady
2013 McGraw Muffet our Lady
2012 Kim Mulkey Baylor
2011 Tara VanDerveer Stanford
2010 Connie Yori Nebraska
2009 Geno Auriemma Uconn
2008 Geno Auriemma Uconn
2007 Gail Goestenkors Duke
2006 Sylvia Hatchell North Carolina
2005 Pokey chatman LSU
2004 Pat summitt Tennessee
2003 Gail Goestenkors Duke
2002 Geno Auriemma Uconn
2001 McGraw Muffet our Lady
2000 Geno Auriemma Uconn
1999 Carolyn Peck Purdue
1998 Pat summitt Tennessee
1997 Geno Auriemma Uconn
1996 Andy Landers Georgia
1995 Geno Auriemma Uconn
1994 Pat summitt Tennessee
1993 Vivian Stringer Iowa
1992 Chris Weller Maryland
1991 Debbie ryan Virginia
1990 Tara VanDerveer Stanford
1989 Pat summitt Tennessee
1988 Leon Barmore Louisiana Tech
1987 Pat summitt Tennessee


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