Celebrating Steve Grant's Legacy

Celebrating Steve Grant's Legacy

Story courtesy of the George Fox Athletics Site - November 13th

NEWBERG, Ore. --- Steve Grant, who amassed 610 wins in his 34 years at George Fox, will retire as the head volleyball coach but remain at the university as chair of the health and human performance department, athletic director Craig Taylor announced Friday afternoon.

A national search for a head volleyball coach will begin immediately.

Grant is 16th in career victories among Division III coaches all-time and his tenure at George Fox was the longest of any current or past head coach.

"I have had the privilege over the last 34 years to work with Steve in a variety of settings, including athletics, administration, and in academics," said Taylor. "He has been a consistent and excellent example as a coach, associate athletic director, a professor, and department chair. Regardless of the setting, it was always evident students came first, and that their experience at George Fox University was of the utmost importance to him. Although Steve is choosing to step away from coaching, I am thankful he will continue to invest in the lives of our students through his leadership, and teaching appointment in the Department of Health and Human Performance."

During his tenure, Grant established George Fox volleyball on a national level. Two Grant-coached teams have won conference championships. His first team in 1982 (17-14) captured the crown in the Women's Conference of Independent Colleges, the predecessor to the Northwest Conference. In 1998, while a dual member of both the NAIA and the NCAA, the Bruins went 31-8, won the Northwest Conference regular season and tournament titles, and reached the NAIA National Tournament in Kankakee, Ill., for the only time in team history. 

He received Coach of the Year accolades five times throughout his career.

In the summer of 2007, Grant was named associate director of intercollegiate athletics at George Fox, taking on additional duties that includes chairing the Sports Hall of Fame Committee and various game management responsibilities. He served in that capacity until 2014.

He has also served as the chair of the health and human performance department since 2003, and was honored by his peers with the 2006-07 Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching. He also has served as an assistant coach with the men's basketball program at George Fox until 1995.

In his 34 years, the Bruins have ended the season on the plus side of the ledger 21 times, including 13-straight winning records from 1987 through 1999. During the 1990s, five of his athletes won NAIA All-American awards, and five were named NAIA All-American Scholar-Athletes. Under his tutelage, Grant has coached 39 All-Northwest Conference athletes and one Northwest Conference Player of the Year (Sharon Barnett, 1999).

"It has been an absolute joy to have coached women's volleyball for the last 34 seasons," said Grant. "I've been blessed to have met and coached and retain as friends, some of the finest young women a coach could ever hope to work with.  There have been hills and valleys as with any coaching situation, but my memories and thoughts about this experience and serving the Lord in this capacity has been beyond anything I could have imagined.  In addition to the players and their families, it goes without saying that were it not for the leadership of Craig Taylor our athletic director, and the wisdom and support and opportunities to learn from and interact with great coaches like Mark Vernon, Craig Taylor, Byron Shenk, Patrick Bailey, Scott Rueck, Marty Hunter, Mike Meek, Mark Sundquist and others, this would not have been the memorable time it has been."

He achieved his 600th win last year when the Bruins defeated Pacific (Ore.) in a 3-1 fashion on September 19, 2014.

A list of all his Milestones are listed below.

150th win - 2-1 (12-15, 15-9, 15-7) vs. Southern Oregon at Monmouth, Ore. (Western Oregon State Tournament), 10/15/1988

200th win - 3-1 (15-13, 17-15, 7-15, 15-11) vs. Western Oregon, 10/9/1990            

250th win - 2-1 (4-15, 15-12, 15-12) vs. Linfield, 9/26/1992

300th win - 2-1 (8-15, 15-8, 16-14) vs. Pacific (Ore.) at Monmouth, Ore. (Western Oregon State Tournament), 10/7/1994

350th win - 3-1 (10-15, 15-8, 15-9, 15-7) vs. Linfield, 11/2/1996

400th win - 3-2 (15-3, 15-9, 3-15, 11-15, 15-13) vs. Puget Sound at Monmouth, Ore. (NAIA Pacific Northwest Sectional), 11/13/1998

450th win - 3-0 (30-18, 30-17, 30-23) vs. Lewis & Clark, 11/3/2001

500th win - 3-1 (30-32, 30-20, 30-27, 30-26) vs. Willamette, 9/23/2005

550th win - 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-23) at Pacific (Ore.), 10/3/2009   

600th win - 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-19, 25-14) vs. Pacific (Ore.), 9/19/2014