John Griffin ’08 announced as Men’s Basketball Head Coach

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Clara McCormick, Sports Editor / The Bucknellian

Clara McCormick, Sports Editor

Bucknell Athletics held a press conference after announcing the new Men’s Basketball coach to be John Griffin ’08 this past Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The press conference took place in the ELC and was followed by a reception in the Terrace Room in celebration of the new first-time head coach. 

This announcement comes at a unique time, as the previous head coach Nathan Davis was declared to be “pursuing other opportunities” on March 2, just two days after the team’s season ended. Davis had been the head coach of the program for eight years, as well as an assistant coach for the program from 2003-2008. Interestingly enough, Griffin mentioned that Davis recruited him to come to play at Bucknell. 

Griffin has had to step into his old coach’s role with a month left of school until summer break. Though this is seemingly a challenging feat for a first-time head coach, Griffin believes he has what it takes to lead the team. 

“I acted like the head coach on day one of my coaching career,” Griffin said. 

Athletic Director Jermaine Truax described the alumnus as having the “it factor,” which includes a “forward-thinking mindset,” a “competitive spirit and work ethic” and having been around coaching his entire life. 

Griffin spoke on his mindset going into his new job. “I am excited, humbled but most of all grateful,” Griffin said. 

Griffin has quite the history with Bucknell Men’s Basketball as both a former player and a former assistant coach for the squad. 

In the press conference, it was mentioned that Griffin was, in fact, involved with the team four years they made it to the NCAA tournament; these years being 2005 and 2006 as a player and 2017 and 2018 as an assistant coach. 

During his time as a Bison from 2005-2008, Griffin scored 1,084 points and was team captain and First Team All-Patriot League during his senior year. Despite his success on the court, Jermaine was eager to share that he did not get this job due to his alumni status.

“My first statement to [Griffin] was that ‘you were a tremendous player for us; you’re an alum and people love you, but none of those will be the reasons you get this job,’” Truax said. “He is here because he’s earned it.”

The key to coaching, according to Griffin, is his communication, as he vowed to not go a day without communication with his players because his coaching style is “built around relationships.”

Despite this past season ending in a heartbreaking fashion for the team, with the Bison falling 59-64 to the American Eagles in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament, Griffin is hopeful about the current men’s abilities to succeed. He mentioned that he keeps telling the players, “this is going to be a process” and that there is not going to be “instant gratification” involved in their journey towards improving the team. 

“We have some energetic and excited kids and I’m ready to get to work… I’m very appreciative that they’ve been open-minded to hearing my thoughts.”

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