Anthony Grant returns to Florida

Published on Tuesday, 4/14/15, at 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

Anthony Grant was instrumental in Billy Donovan's early success at Florida.

Anthony Grant was instrumental in Billy Donovan’s early success at Florida.

After spending nine years as a head coach at VCU and Alabama, Anthony Grant is back at the University of Florida.

When former UF assistant Matt McCall took the head-coaching job at UT-Chattanooga this past weekend, the door was opened for Grant to return to Billy Donovan’s staff.

It didn’t take long. By lunch on Monday, Florida had announced that Grant was back on board at the school.

The 48-year-old Grant spent 10 years with Donovan at UF and two with him at Marshall. He was at star player at Miami Senior High School and has strong recruiting ties in the Dade-Broward County areas. Grant was pivotal in the recruitment of Udonis Haslem, another Miami Sr. alum who enjoyed a storied career at UF before winning three rings with the Miami Heat.

Grant also played key roles in bringing in players like Teddy Dupay, Brent Wright (another Miami Sr. alum), Major Parker and Joakim Noah.

During his three-year tenure at VCU, Grant took the school to a pair of NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance. His signature win came in his first season at VCU when it knocked off Duke in the opening round of the NCAAs thanks to a last-second shot by Eric Maynard.

Grant’s time at Alabama didn’t go as well. He took the Crimson Tide to just one NCAA Tournament in six seasons, taking a pink slip last month.

What does this mean for Donovan’s future? Well, it doesn’t hurt the chances that he’ll return to UF.

There have been reports galore that Donovan is on his way to the NBA in the coming weeks. That might be true, but it’s certainly not a given.

The reality is that Florida was only safe from a potential Donovan departure during the five-year window in which he couldn’t go to an NBA team because of the non-compete clause the Orlando Magic forced him to sign in order to get out of his contract with the club in 2007.

For now at least, Donovan has the band back together. For the first time since John Pelphrey left to take the South Alabama job in 2002, Donovan, Pelphrey and Grant are together again. The trio began their coaching voyage at Marshall in 1994 before bringing incredible success to the Gators in the first six years of Donovan’s incredible reign at UF.

How long will it last this time around? Only time will tell.


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