Neil Sullivan proud of coaching search team’s effort

Neil Sullivan doesn’t have a Twitter account. He stayed away from social media all week as fans of the Dayton Flyers fretted, wondering who Sullivan would hire to replace Archie Miller.

Hours after UD announced the hiring of Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach and 1987 UD grad Anthony Grant, Sullivan granted his first interview. He would not give details on where he was all week. Grant and the Thunder were in Orlando for a game Wednesday, so it’s possible Sullivan’s week included a trip to Florida.

What’s most important is Sullivan got the hiring done in a timely manner. The Flyers and their fans can move on to the next step, which is life after Miller.

“We’re in the business of students and student-athletes, and students are close to their coach,” Sullivan said. “I think while I appreciate and acknowledge the anxiety of the fans, I was really focused on the players and the recruits and the program moving forward. I think I said before that sooner was better than later. At the end of the day, decisions that are long-term decisions need the appropriate balance of time and patience. I think we struck that balance.

“Sometimes when you’re in the heat of the battle, you have to maintain and resist the stress to make sure you’re working constructively under pressure in response to change as opposed to being too reactionary. I was proud our search team was able to do that.”

More details: Sullivan said he and Grant reached out to the returning players and the new recruits Thursday and that Grant has started to work on putting a staff together.

Sullivan would not list the specifics of Grant’s contract other than to say, “We’re not going to disclose the terms. He’s got a contract that pays him appropriately for his skill set.”

Breaking news: Kendall Pollard was taking a class with a number of fellow Flyers — Scoochie Smith, Joey Gruden, Josh Cunningham and Darrell Davis — when they saw the news break on Twitter

Pollard said they didn’t need to start researching Grant on Google. They had time to do that earlier in the week because Grant was one of the favorites for the job.

Martin's reaction: South Carolina coach Frank Martin, whose team is playing in the Final Four this week, attended Miami Senior High School with Grant and later coached with him at the school. They remain close.

“He is a winner and an incredible human being,” Martin wrote of Grant on Thursday on Twitter.

Goodwin's reaction: Damon Goodwin, the coach at Capital University, played with Grant for three seasons (1983-86). He was one year ahead of Grant, a 1987 graduate. Both were part of Dayton's Elite Eight team in 1984.

“I’m tremendously happy and excited for Anthony, his family and UD,” Goodwin said. “Anthony will be a great coach and a dedicated leader. I know his players will play hard, play smart and be excited to play for him at UD.”

Trophy time: Dayton's Atlantic 10 championship trophy arrived at the Cronin Center on Thursday. Pollard posted photos of him and Smith with the trophy.

About the Author