If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That seems to be direction of the University of San Diego men’s basketball program.
The school has announced that Gonzaga assistant coach Bill Grier will be introduced Monday afternoon on campus as the Toreros’ next head coach.
Grier, 43, has been a Gonzaga assistant the past 16 years at the West Coast Conference rival of the Toreros. He is considered the “defensive coordinator” on the bench and a top recruiter.
He’s been around the Bulldogs’ run of nine straight NCAA tournament appearances under both Dan Monson and Mark Few.
After the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1999 and Monson left for a job at Minnesota, Grier opted to remain at Gonzaga under Few. The Bulldogs have since put together a streak nine straight NCAA tournament appearances.
The 2006-07 team was considered the most vulnerable of recent Gonzaga lineups, but the Bulldogs won both the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles before losing to Indiana in the NCAA tournament.
Other strong candidates for the job were former Monson and San Diego State assistant coach Brian Dutcher.
Grier’s decision to accept the San Diego job should put to rest rumors Few is a candidate for the vacant Kentucky job. Grier has a clause in his contract he would succeed Few if he left Gonzaga.
— TOM SHANAHAN