Bryant University Director of Athletics Bill Smith has announced a contract extension for head men’s basketball coach Jared Grasso through the 2026-27 season.
“It’s a great day for Bryant basketball,” said Smith. “Coach Grasso is one of the top young coaches in Division I and has done an incredible job taking our program to the championship level. A tireless recruiter and a work ethic like nobody I’ve seen, Coach Grasso is a great leader for our program and the student-athletes who wear the Black & Gold.”
Grasso, who recently completed his fourth season as the head coach at Bryant, led the Bulldogs to a Division I program record 22 wins (22-10 overall) in 2021-22. Bryant won 17 of its final 21 games enroute to capturing the program’s first-ever Northeast Conference Regular-Season and Tournament titles – the first such titles in 60 years in the program’s history. Grasso was named the Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year for his efforts.
“Coach Grasso has built our men’s basketball program into a winner and with the team’s success has come enhanced recognition of Bryant’s excellence not only on the court but in academic programs and on achieving Top 1% nationally in student outcomes,” said Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “We look forward to Coach Grasso’s continued leadership of our student-athletes and contributions to our University’s rising national recognition.”
A finalist for the Hugh Durham Award given annually to the top mid-major coach in the country for the third time in four years, Grasso has a career coaching record of 62-54 overall at Bryant, guiding the program to 15 wins in each of the last three seasons. Since taking over in 2018-19, Grasso has led Bryant to more overall wins (62) and more conference wins (44) than any other team in the NEC.
“I’d like to thank our Director of Athletics Bill Smith, President Ross Gittell and Chairman of the Board of Trustees David Beirne for their confidence in me and the future of our program,” Grasso said. “I have been blessed to work with some amazing student-athletes and unbelievably committed staff. Without them and their tireless work I would not be in this position. With the challenging move to the America East Conference, and a new state-of-the-art arena on the horizon, it is an exciting time for Bryant University and the Bulldog men’s basketball program. My family and I could not be more excited for the future in Smithfield.”
Behind the play of senior Peter Kiss and junior Charles Pride, the Bulldogs earned the school’s first trip to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, where they faced Wright State in the NCAA First Four in Dayton, Ohio on March 16. Kiss and Pride, the nation’s highest-scoring duo (42.9 points per game) were named first team all-conference and selected to the United State Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District teams. Kiss led all of Division I with 25.2 ppg and set a DI program record with 680 points in 2021-22.
Grasso was named the 2021 USBWA District I Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs into the mid-major top-25 in 2021 for the first time in eight seasons.
Arriving at Bryant in 2018-19, Bryant authored one of the nation’s best improvements in his first season as head coach as the Bulldogs were the only team in the nation to triple their win total from the previous season. For his efforts, Grasso was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award, given to the nation’s top first-year coach in Division I. Grasso has coached five All-NEC selections, one NEC Rookie of the Year and three all-district honorees.