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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

John Griffin III earns promotion to associate head coach

Griffin on the sidelines of Hagan Arena with Head Coach Billy Lange. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

On Sept. 3, St. Joe’s men’s basketball Head Coach Billy Lange announced the promotion of Assistant Coach John Griffin III to the position of associate head coach for the 2020-21 season.

As a graduate of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Griffin is a well known member of the St. Joe’s community. Griffin’s father also served as head coach of the men’s basketball team from 1990-95. 

“The promotion is an honor,” Griffin said. “I’m grateful to both coach Lange and [Director of Athletics] Jill Bodensteiner for the opportunity to represent St. Joe’s men’s basketball and be a major part of the history of this program.” 

Lange said that Griffin’s personality made him the right choice for the role.

“I hired him because of his character, his culture [and] I know his loyalty,” Lange said. “I trust him and his talent.” 

Griffin’s promotion was part of a larger plan, according to Lange. 

“When we hired him here, it was always under the premise that he would be the associate head coach,” Lange said. “But we wanted to give it a year with him here before we did that.”

Although Griffin has a new title, his day-to-day role won’t change much from last year.

“[The coaching staff] is working together to give our players the best opportunity to be successful,” Griffin said. “That entails player development, program organization and echoing coach Lange’s philosophies.” 

For many players on the men’s basketball team, the relationships they built with Griffin helped them to succeed. 

“My relationship with coach Griffin is really good, we get a lot of extra work in together and I can text him whenever I want to work out,” said redshirt sophomore Greg Foster Jr. “He’ll always ask me how the guys on the team are doing, so I feel like there’s a good connection and a lot of trust between us.”

Griffin’s players know to expect hard work and high energy from him, according to Foster.

“Even before the promotion, he’s been one of the hardest workers on this whole staff,” Foster said. “He gets in extra work with all of us, I think his promotion is just a result of all that hard work, and it’s not going to stop now just because he got promoted.”

While this new promotion is exciting for Griffin, he is still striving for the men’s basketball program to be among the top programs in the nation.

“We want to reach a level of success nationally that makes the alumni of Hawk Hill proud,”  Griffin said. “We are looking to create a basketball environment that becomes marketable to players who want to compete at the highest level in college basketball and in the NCAA tournament.”

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