|New Coppin State mens basketball coach Michael Grant (center) is introduced. (Photo by Coppin State Sports Information)|
Michael Grant is no stranger to replacing legends.
In 2003, he took over the Southern basketball program after Ben Jobe retired. And now he will be the head basketball coach at Coppin State where Ronald "Fang" Mitchell wasn't brought back for a 29th season.
“This was another opportunity for me to build a program,” Grant said, according to the school's athletic department web site. “I am excited to be here and looking forward to playing an exciting brand of basketball."
Grant takes over from Mitchell who in 28 years won 429 games and made Coppin State a feared team to play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The 1990s were their heyday when they won nine of ten MEAC tournaments and made three NCAA tournament fields. But the last ten years have been anything but successful as the Eagles have finished below .500 in nine of the past ten season. Their last NCAA tourney appearance was in 2008 and they finished 12-20 this season.
Mitchell's contract wasn't renewed for another year.
Grant comes from Stillman in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference where he has had a 100-73 record in six seasons. He was 25-31 from 2003 to 2005 with Southern.
“We believe he’s the best fit for our program,” said Coppin State athletic director Derrick Ramsey. “He has experience replacing a legendary coach, which is important. We’re excited to have coach Grant join the Coppin State family.”
Grant said Eagles fans should get used to a team that will run and score.
"There will be nobody in this conference that will be able to play the way I play," he said. "