When looking for a new girls basketball coach, Millersport went with a name they know: Grandy.
Jennifer Grandy has filled the position in the Lakers athletic department, joining her father Kirk Grandy, the boys basketball coach, as a leader on the hardwood for Millersport. Considering her grandfather coached basketball for years at Nelsonville-York, Jennifer Grandy said the profession runs in the family.
“I’ve been around the game my whole life,” she said. “Seeing my grandpa and my dad be successful coaches, I’ve learned a lot from them. Being around the game and playing so much just gave me that upper hand, that knowledge of the game.”
Jennifer Grandy coached the Millersport Middle School girls team last season and in addition to her family’s experience, has her own success playing the game to draw from. She played four years at Glouster Trimble High School, where she was a three-time first-team All-Ohio Selection and the 2005-06 Division IV player of the year in Ohio following her senior season. The name Jennifer Grandy still litters the Ohio High School Association record books where she remains second in career 3s made with 328 and her 40.2 percent career 3-point shooting is 10th all time. Her 503 career steals puts her ninth.
Kirk Grandy coached his daughter when she was in high school and said that as early as her seventh-grade season he knew his daughter would be a coach.
“She’s always been a student of the game,” he said. “In the summer time, when all of her friends were out at the pool, she would be playing basketball.”
“She went to as many of my games as she could [last year] and after every game we would talk. She watches every game as a coach. We are constantly talking basketball.”
Jennifer Grandy said her coaching style and ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of her players comes in large part from her father.
Like her dad did when he took over Millersport boys basketball, Jennifer Grandy has a rebuilding job on her hands. The Lakers went 3-17 last season and finished last in the Mid-State League-Cardinal Division, going 0-12 in their conference schedule. Jennifer Grandy said she already has talked to her father for advice on rebuilding a program.
“The first thing you have to do is change the attitude,” Kirk Grandy said. “In the past, they played just to play, if they can realize themselves that they can be successful as an individual, they can be successful as a team.”
Jennifer Grandy already has begun trying to instill that confidence in her players, working with them at open gyms in May and in the weight room this summer, insisting that playing basketball 12 months per year is essential to success.
The father and daughter are planning to integrate the boys and girls programs more this season as they already have scheduled three dates where the two teams will play back-to-back games. The ability to do things like that, and the environment Millersport school’s provides, attracted Jennifer Grandy to the job.
“It will be nice to have him in the gym before or after me for practices and be able to sit in on his practices and learn even more,” she said. “It’s that small school mentality. I knew I wanted to be a part of that community.”
Although they are similar in many ways, Jennifer Grandy said there is one aspect of coaching that she will not emulate her father, a coach who has become known for his flashy suits and other court-side apparel.
“I don’t think I can beat him in the fashion sense,” she said. “I’m not even going to compete.”