March 26, 2007
San Diego, CA - The University of San Diego named Bill Grier as as its new head men's basketball coach. Grier, who replaces Brad Holland, becomes the Toreros' 11th head coach in program history, and just the 4th coach since USD moved to the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80. He was introduced to the San Diego today by Ky Snyder, USD Executive Director of Athletics.
"We were searching for a person with an overwhelming drive to succeed," said Ky Snyder, USD Executive Director of Athletics. "We found that and we found much more in Bill Grier. The people I've talked with across the country, people who I greatly respect, I've heard Bill described as a big time coach. A great person and family man. A teacher great at individual workouts. A great work ethic. A tireless worker. Relates well with the student-athletes. Helps them on the court and off the court equally as much. Demanding. Demanding both on the court, but also with success in the classroom. Well connected. A great recruiter. No stone left unturned. Thorough in his approach. Loyal and ready. Ready to become a head coach. It is with great pleasure I introduce the man that fits that description. And that is head men's basketball coach at the University of San Diego, Bill Grier."
Grier, 43, comes to USD from Gonzaga University where he has been on staff the past sixteen years. A highly motivated, detailed and results oriented basketball coach with excellent communication and teaching skills, Grier has played an integral role in Gonzaga's arrival on the national scene. He began his career at Gonzaga in 1992 under head coach Dan Fitzgerald where he served as the restricted-earnings assistant for six years. He was elevated to a full-time assistant for the 1997-98 season when Dan Monson took over the head coaching reigns. During his two seasons under Monson, the Bulldogs went 52-17, won back-to-back WCC titles, went to the 1998 NIT Sweet Sixteen and made it to the 1999 NCAA Elite Eight.
"First and foremost, I want to thank President Lyons and Ky Snyder," said Bill Grier. " I'm very excited about what this program can become. When Ky approached me about this, it really peaked my interest. I see a lot of potential in a program that's on the cusp, not only in basketball, but in athletics. President Lyons and Ky have me really excited about the future here at USD. Last season with the football program, and the excitement it generated around this campus and community, it opened some eyes as to what could be accomplished around here. Ky and I are very similar about what we see in this program and what it is capable of doing. As far as my philosophy and the way we're going to play, I think you're going to see a lot of similarities in Gonzaga. It's been 16 years and it's proven. And I know how to teach it. Certainly there will be some things that I will do differently than Coach (Mark) Few and Coach (Dan) Monson."
In July, 1999, when Monson accepted the Minnesota job, Mark Few was made the head coach and Grier stayed where he was promoted to top assistant. Over the past eight years Gonzaga has seen nothing but continued success with the teams compiling a 211-52 record over that span. During this time the Zags have won the WCC regular-season title seven times; the WCC Tournament title seven times; advanced to the NCAA Tournament eight times, including three trips to the Sweet Sixteen; and finished ranked in the top-10 of the final AP poll three times (2004-2006). Overall with Grier as an assistant coach, the Bulldogs have combined for an overall record of 381-126; won 11 regular-season WCC championships; won nine WCC Tournament titles (33-7 WCC tournament record); advanced to nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments, and ten overall, including four Sweet 16 appearances and the 1999 Elite Eight.
The past ten years Grier has been the team's "defensive coordinator" for the Bulldogs, as well as being responsible for ten recruiting classes. He has developed the program into one known for its defense as much as it is for its offense. Since assuming the defensive role under former head coach Dan Monson, Gonzaga has led the WCC in field goal percentage defense six times, including the 3rd best mark in the nation in 2004. Responsible for the past ten recruiting classes, his 2007 class is the program's best yet where it has been ranked 11th-best in the nation by the Rivals.com recruiting service. Four recruits in the 2007 class rank in the top-100 in their class.
He also successfully developed both post players (1997-2003) and perimeter players (2003-2007). Post players Bakari Hendrix (1998) and Casey Calvary (2001) were both WCC Players of the Year. Perimeter players he worked with included Derek Raivio (2007), the WCC Player of the Year; Adam Morrison (2006), a 1st team All-American and WCC Player of the Year; and Blake Stepp (2004), a 2nd team All-American and two-time WCC Player of the Year.
Grier started his coaching career at his alma mater, Cottage Grove High School in 1986. After serving two years as a freshman coach, Grier was elevated to junior varsity coach and varsity assistant. Grier left Cottage Grove to be the head coach at Creswell High School during the 1990-91 season. He played two years in junior college (Central Oregon and Southwestern Oregon), then transferred to Oregon where he received a B.S. degree in Leisure Studies and Services in 1990.
Bill and his wife, Nicole (Styles) were married in August of 1996. The couple became parents with the arrival of Giselle Marie on March 4, 2006, just two days prior to Gonzaga's home semifinal game in the WCC Tourname