Vanderbilt Men's Basketball Assistant David Grace Among Most Impactful

Greg Arias

Every Vanderbilt basketball fan, along with those from inside the Southeastern Conference and around the nation, knows the name of Commodores head coach Jerry Stackhouse, but not many can name his assistants. 

While head coaches have coaching records for wins and losses in their careers, assistant toil in anonymity, or the most part, earning praise at times or when they achieve a level of success that earns them a chance to lead a program of their own. 

In just his first season as an assistant to Stackhouse at Vanderbilt, David Grace was a known commodity when he joined the staff,  but his name might not be widely known yet. 

On Tuesday, Grace appeared on a list of "Impactful High Major Assistant Coaches in Division 1 Men's Basketball" presented by Silver Waves Media. 

Of the 50 assistant coaches making a list, ten currently hold positions in the SEC, including Grace. 

While Grace has been around the basketball world, serving as an assistant since 2006, most people know little about him, or just how much he means to the Commodores program.

 This recognition should help change that lack of knowledge. 


A feared recruiter, Grace is widely considered one of the best recruiters in the country. In 2016, he was ranked the best recruiter in the West and the 7th-best recruiter nationally based on an ESPN coaching peer survey. He helped the Bruins establish the No. 2 recruiting class for 2018, including nine top 100 prospects across back-to-back recruiting classes. Prior to a great run at UCLA, the Air Force veteran served under Craig Robinson from 2009-2013. During that time, he helped the Beavers to the highest five-year win total (78) since 1988-92. In addition, Grace played a key role in landing two nationally ranked recruits and lured Jared Cunningham to Oregon State who would later be selected in the first-round of the NBA Draft. He got his start in collegiate coaching at Sacramento State in 2006, recruiting 2006-07 Big Sky Freshman of the Year Vinnie McGhee before moving on to become the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at USF. Lastly, he is also known for turning around a South Mountain High School team that won just four games in the year before he arrived to take them to a state championship.

While Grace and the Commodores have some work to do to reach the level they envision for this program, there is no doubt that the work is being done both on the practice court and recruiting trail. 

Hopefully, those efforts will become evident sooner rather than later. 

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