Dave Gantt left volleyball coaching in 2002 and realized immediately he’d made a mistake.
It’s taken him a while, but Gantt is back in the game.
Gantt has been hired as the new head coach at Gonzaga. He replaces Kip Yoshimura, who resigned after going 58-150 in seven seasons. Gantt has head coaching experience at Montana State-Northern (1988-89), Oregon State (1991-93) and Montana State (1994-2002). He also was an assistant coach with the U.S. men’s national team in 1990-91.
Gantt left coaching after the 2002 season to become an assistant athletic director at Montana State. He was athletic director at Montana State-Northern from 2005-07 and he’s worked in ranch real estate in Bozeman the past two years.
“I should have just asked for a year’s leave of absence (after the 2002 season) because volleyball really is in my blood and always has been,” said Gantt, who was 159-96 at Montana State and 29-36 at Oregon State. “Fortunately, I was persistent enough to keep plugging away, trying to find the right fit and situation to get back into it.”
He believes he’s found that at Gonzaga, which competes in the rugged West Coast Conference. Four WCC teams were ranked at some point during the 2008 season and five of the eight conference teams played in the NCAA tournament.
“There are two shifts that we need to make,” Gantt, 54, said. “I know it won’t be a quick fix, it’s going to take a lot of work, but we need to change the way we recruit and the way we train.”
Gantt said he will retain Abby Bennett, a Bulldogs assistant coach and former GU player.
“Everyone we spoke with had nothing but praise for Dave,” GU athletic director Mike Roth said. “The more the process evolved, the more people we talked to, the more it became clear we were getting a highly-respected coach in Dave Gantt.”
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