by Seth Askelson
At the start of the baseball season, longtime GCC head baseball coach Dave Grant was 28 wins away from 1,000. With three wins already this season, he is now at 975.
Grant has been the baseball coach at GCC for 36 years. He has amassed many accomplishments and has created many successful players and people.
But this success didn’t come overnight.
Grant was born on January 24, 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His parents were both in the medical field; his father a cardiovascular surgeon and his mother a nurse. He is the middle child of seven and has four sisters and two brothers.
After living in Tulsa, he moved to New York and finally moved to Phoenix when he was in first grade. He got involved in baseball at young age.
“I started playing organized baseball when I was in grade school,” Grant said “But I would play with my grandpa in the backyard though.”
He played first base at Phoenix Brophy Prep, and this is where he decided to get into coaching.
“The players didn’t respect me like they should have,” Grant said “I think I was too young.”
After he graduated from Brophy, he went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He also played first base for the Lions.
“I think it was the right level of baseball,” Grant said “It wasn’t too high, wasn’t too low.”
Following his time at Loyola Marymount, he came back to Phoenix where he became the head coach at Brophy Prep. He was 23 at the time, and felt like he was too young.
“The players didn’t respect me as much as they should’ve,” Grant said “Some of the players were dating their sisters.”
He spent four years as the coach for the Broncos, and then was head coach of the varsity team at Loyola High School in Los Angeles and at Loyola Marymount. In 1979-80, he became the head coach at GCC.
He has had much success as the leader of Gaucho baseball. He led the Gauchos to a runner up finish at the 1991 Junior College World Series, losing to Manatee (FL) Community College in the final.
He has also gone to four regional championship series, winning one.
Grant has produced four players to play in the majors. Those four are Paul Lo Duca, Jeff Huson, Randy McCanent, and Eddie Bonine. He has also had many successful players go on and do big things off the field as well.
Before the beginning of the 2009 season, Grant decided that it was best that he not coach the baseball team. His replacement, Paul Hatcher, decided that Grant’s number 5 should be retired. His is the first and only number to be retired in Gaucho baseball history.
In 2012, Hatcher stepped down from the head coaching position due to personal reasons. Grant decided to come out of retirement and once again become the head coach of the Gauchos.
Grant is also an English teacher here on campus and up until the last fall semester he was the Athletic Director. He decided to teach rather than be the full time athletic director.
For now, he is a top English teacher and the head of the baseball program. As he chases 1,000 wins, he knows his coaching window may be coming to a close.
“I think I have two good years left in me,” Grant said.