“His mentality has always been to invest in players, invest in coaches,” Donovan said. “He’s really an incredibly selfless guy. He’s grounded. He’s got the whole thing together. Incredibly unassuming. Not a networker. Not a self promoter. He was never out there lobbying for jobs.”
Dayton finished 29-2 in a season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. It won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship, set a school record for victories, matched a school record with 20 straight victories to end the season and rose as high as No. 3, its highest ranking since the 1950s, in the Associated Press poll.
» ROSTER LOOK: Next year’s team a mix of returners, newcomers
Grant is the first A-10 coach to win the Naismith award since Saint Joseph’s Phil Martelli in 2004 and the first coach from an Ohio college to win since Ohio State’s Randy Ayers in 1991.
South Carolina’s Dawn Staley was named the Naismith coach of the year.
The winner of the Naismith Trophy for men’s and women’s player of the year will be announced at noon Friday. Dayton’s Obi Toppin is a finalist.