Anthony Grant reunites with Florida Gators and Billy Donovan

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Grant, who was fired as the head coach at Alabama, is returning to Florida as an assistant under Gators coach Billy Donovan.

Donovan announced Monday that Grant would replace Matt McCall, who left to take the head coaching job at Chattanooga. The move reunites Donovan, Grant and John Pelphrey — the trio that helped turn fledgling Florida into a Southeastern Conference and national power.

“I’m extremely appreciative of coach Donovan extending the opportunity to me to return to the University of Florida,” Grant said in a statement. “It’s a great chance to return to a place I love and have fond memories of, and I look forward to helping the staff build on the tradition and success that coach Donovan has created.”

Grant spent 10 seasons as an assistant at Florida on a staff that guided the Gators to the 2006 national championship, the 2000 national championship game, two SEC titles (2000, 2001) and two SEC tournament titles (2005, 2006). The Gators went 226-98 while Grant was in Gainesville.

“We’re very excited to have Anthony back on our staff,” Donovan said. “He’s obviously familiar with our program, and he is an outstanding coach and recruiter, so he adds great value to our staff and our team.”

Grant left Gainesville after the 2006 season to become the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth, where he led VCU to a 76-25 record in three seasons.

Grant left the Rams to take over at Alabama, where he went 117-85. The Tide recorded three straight 20-win seasons from 2011-13, marking the first time in more than two decades that the program achieved that feat. From 2011-15, the Tide had 48 conference victories — third in the league behind Florida and Kentucky.

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