Born in 1933, Boyd Grant was 43 years old when he was hired to be the Fresno State head men’s basketball coach in 1977.
He was already a winner.
Grant had previously coached at College of Southern Idaho. In three seasons, his record was 93-6 and that included a 49-game winning streak!
At Fresno State, Boyd Grant went 21-6 his first season. Of course, he is most well-known for what happened during his sixth season, when the Bulldogs were the last team standing at Madison Square Garden; they won the 1983 NIT Championship.
Boyd Grant coached at Fresno State for a total of nine seasons. He resigned in 1986, saying he felt it was time for a change.
Ron Adams succeeded him, but he couldn’t replace him.
Boyd Grant never had a losing season at Fresno State. The Bulldogs’ all-time winningest coach, he was 194-74: a winning percentage of .724. The first time Fresno State went to the NCAA Tournament was under Boyd Grant, in 1981. The Bulldogs were 25-4 that season.
They were 27-3 the next season, when they went back to the NCAA Tournament and were ranked as high as No. 11 in the country.
Boyd Grant was named the Pacific Coast Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year three times. He coached seven players at Fresno State who would go on to be NBA draft picks.
As for Grant, he would go on to coach at Colorado State after Fresno State. And he was a winner there as well, going 81-46 in four seasons with the Rams with two WAC Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Boyd Grant is in the National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame, the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado State Athletic Hall of Fame and the Snow College Hall of Fame.
He passed away on his birthday, August 17th, at the age of 87.