The University of San Diego announced through a press-release yesterday that Head Coach Bill Grier would receive a contract extension. Since Grier coaches at a private institution, many of the logistics and stipulations of the contract are not known to the public.
While at the helm at USD, Grier has brought the Toreros to two postseason tournaments (the NCAA tournament and the CIT) and only one winning season within the conference. Grier’s claim to fame is San Diego’s run in 2008 – his first year as head coach – where the Toreros upset Gonzaga to win the WCC tournament as the three seed (11-3 conference record). USD received a 13 seed with their automatic bid in the NCAA tournament, and proceeded to upset four seeded UConn in the first round. Their run ended after losing to Western Kentucky in the second round.
This extension is a bit of a head scratcher with closer examination. While Grier is relatively well-liked from his position on the sidelines, the wins have not followed enough to warrant an extension. Many hypothesized he would be on the hot seat after this season, after the Toreros disappointingly finished sixth in the WCC with a 7-11 conference record.
The CIT invitation, as well as the upsets over Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s this past season, probably had something to do with the extension, however.
With the extension, the pressure to win will most likely be intensified for Grier. He has only won 44.5 percent (102-127) of his overall games at the University of San Diego, and has only won 40.6 percent of his conference games (43-63).
With a senior backcourt of Christopher Anderson and Johnny Dee, who have been cornerstones of the program ever since they stepped foot on campus, this upcoming season might be Grier’s last chance to break through in the WCC.