Doty Completes Basketball Staff at Graceland University

Photo Courtesy Graceland Athletics

Graceland University head men’s basketball coach Craig Doty has completed his coaching staff for this upcoming season. Along with the promotion of Cory Hoff to associate head coach and the hiring of AJ Gordon, Graceland announces eight additional members of the coaching staff for the 2017-18 season.

Graceland University head men’s basketball coach Craig Doty has completed his coaching staff for this upcoming season. Along with the promotion of Cory Hoff to associate head coach and the hiring of AJ Gordon, Graceland announces eight additional members of the coaching staff for the 2017-18 season.

Quentin Canty and Frank Cimino join the men’s basketball staff as graduate assistant coaches. Both will be pursing their Master of Education in Instructional Leadership degrees at Graceland.

Canty comes to GU by way of Presentation College where he was a member of the men’s basketball program the past two seasons. As a senior, Canty was awarded the NAIA North Star Conference Champion of Character Award for his year-long service to an individual with cerebral palsy. Canty spent three total years at Rock Valley College including two seasons as a student-athlete and a redshirt year under Coach Doty. At RVC, Canty played in 70 games leading the Golden Eagles to a 50-20 record, two national tournaments including a national runner-up.

“Quentin is going to be a star in the coaching world,” head coach Craig Doty said. “He has all the intangibles, he has an incredible work ethic, he wants to be great, and he has good knowledge of the game. Quentin also is a man of tremendous character who, despite not being the easiest kid to coach in his early days, is one of my former players who I am the closest to. He will be a tremendous asset to our Graceland program.”

Cimino finished his playing career this past season at Graceland University as an honorable mention All-Conference player helping lead the Yellowjackets to a 20-12 record and the program’s first NAIA Division I national ranking in program history. Prior to his time in Lamoni, Cimino played one season at Presentation College and two seasons at Rock Valley College. During his time at RVC, Cimino helped guide the Coach Doty-led Golden Eagles to a 61-9 record which included the 2014 NJCAA DIII National Championship and the 2015 NJCAA DIII National Runner-up.

“Frank is a well-rounded, talented individual. Whether he was banging in three’s or guarding the best player on the other team during his playing career, or if he is day trading on the stock market, Frank shows he can do whatever he puts his mind to. When we sat down in our post-season meeting last spring I was thrilled to hear he was interested in coaching as he pursues his master’s degree. He will do a great job as a graduate assistant for us at Graceland.”

Ben Kluzak returns for his second season as the head student assistant coach at Graceland and his third season working for Coach Doty. Kluzak spent one season at Rock Valley College under Doty where he assisted the Golden Eagles to their best season in school history which included a 33-3 record, a national championship and number one national ranking for the entire year. Last season at Graceland, Kluzak helped guide the Yellowjackets to a 20-12 record and an NAIA Division I national ranking. Prior to his time at RVC, Kluzak spent four season as a student-assistant at Rockford Jefferson high school.

“I am convinced that Ben is the hardest working student-assistant in the country,” Doty stated. “Whether it is moving students in and out of dorm rooms, doing laundry, setting up the gym for practice, player development, or monitoring study hall, Ben does it all. We will continue to give him more on-floor duties this year as he will be working with our varsity program for a second consecutive season.”

Sam Harrison joins the Graceland men’s basketball coaching staff as the Head Junior Varsity Coach. Harrison will also be a varsity assistant as he completes his undergraduate degree in business at GU. Harrison and Doty are far from strangers. Harrison and his older brother, Jack, both played for Doty at Rock Valley College. The younger Harrison and current Graceland senior point guard LT Davis are the only two Golden Eagles to win two NJCAA DIII men’s basketball National Championships at RVC. Both Davis and Harrison won the 2014 title, redshirted the following season, and won the 2016 national title.

“We look forward to Sam transitioning from student-athlete to coach this season,” Doty stated. “We are confident in Sam’s ability to connect with student-athletes, to teach, and to mentor. Sam has ran Midwest Elite Basketball camps each of the past three summers. He is natural when he is on the floor. His future is incredibly bright in the coaching world and we are happy to have him with us at Graceland.”

Teddy Palmer returns for his second season as a student-assistant at Graceland University. Palmer is a Lamoni-native who made the switch from athlete to coach last season. Palmer assisted Graceland to one of the best seasons in the past 20 years as GU earned their first national ranking in NAIA Division I history which also included going 16-10 in Heart of America play.

“Teddy does a tremendous job of balancing his daily schedule,” Doty said. “He is a solid student, he makes an impact on our program and assists in many facets, and he still works a job throughout the week. We are happy to have Teddy back working with us for a second season as he continues to pursue his bachelor’s degree at Graceland.”

Ron Keller joins Graceland this year as a student-assistant coach from Rock Valley College. Keller helped the Golden Eagles to a 24-9 record this past season while coaching incoming Graceland recruits Alec Pena and Garrett Schweighauser.

“One of the last things I did before leaving Rock Valley to take the Graceland position was hire Ron Keller as a student-assistant coach,” Doty stated. “Ron is incredibly smart. He was a part of the head start program where he earned his high school diploma and his associates degree at the same time. He comes to Graceland as an 18-year-old with junior academic standing. Having worked one season under my former assistant and current Rock Valley head coach Evan Lavery, I know Ron will be more than prepared to take on many duties within our program as he hits the ground running at Graceland.”

Ben Grygiel and Dylan Martin round out the men’s basketball coaching staff at Graceland University for this upcoming season. Both Grygiel and Martin finished their senior seasons of eligibility last season and will take on roles on the coaching staff as they completed their bachelor degrees this year at GU.

Grygiel played for Doty for two seasons at Rock Valley, played a season at Minnesota Crookston, and finished his playing career at Graceland last season. Grygiel started 27 games while helping guide GU to a 20-12 record including the conference semifinals of the Heart of America tournament.

“Ben will be helping us out this season as his finishes his degree at Graceland,” Doty stated. “I think this will be a healthy transition for Ben as he moves from between the lines as a player to the sidelines as a coach. He will focus on player development with our guys this season. We are happy to have him with us.”

Martin joins the Graceland staff after finishing his senior season of eligibility last season at GU. Prior to his two seasons in Lamoni, Martin spent two years at Blue Mountain Community College in Oregon. Martin was a defensive-stopped for the Yellowjackets last season appearing in 32 games and helping lead the Jackets to a 20-12 record and a national ranking.

“We are excited for Dylan to transition from student-athlete to student-coach as he finishes his bachelor’s degree at Graceland,” Doty said. “Dylan will be active in all facets of our program as he establishes himself as a coach and a leader of young men.”

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