Bryant Basketball Coach Jared Grasso on Hoosiers, Last Chance U, and Life Lessons of Sports
Jared Grasso is head coach of the Bryant University men's basketball team. He joined the Bryant program in 2018 after eight years as associate head coach at Iona.
The Bryant Bulldogs are 15-5 this season. Tonight (March 9), they play Mount St. Mary's in the final of the Northeast Conference tournament. Having taken over a team that went 3–28 in 2017-18, Grasso has led a remarkable turnaround at the program.
Grasso was a four-year starter and two-year captain at Quinnipiac as a guard. A native of Syosset, New York, he attended St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington, New York, from 1994-98, earning honorable mention All-American honors as a senior. He, his wife Andrea and their two sons now live in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
We spoke to Grasso for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and shows, and their love of sports generally.
Jared, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
Long Island, New York ... North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Your earliest sports memory.
I grew up in the gym with my father. Watching his teams practice and going to their games. Basketball is the family business.
Your favorite sports team.
Bryant Bulldogs. I am very invested in our program, and I don't have enough time to truly follow other sports religiously.
Your favorite athlete.
Kobe Bryant. His work ethic and mentality separated him from his peers.
Your favorite sports show or podcast.
Last Chance U. I just loved the background stories and inner workings of the programs and players showcased.
Your favorite sports movie.
Hoosiers. First basketball movie I grew up with, and I have watched it over 100 times.
A recent project you're proud of.
A lot of basketball analytic stuff my staff works on is rewarding. Especially when we find something we feel can give us an advantage in our preparation.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
The Hoop Dance. A book written by my dear friend David "Ditto" Tawil. It was a work of passion and truly written from his heart.
What sports can do that nothing else can.
It is being part of a team! The lessons of teamwork, competition, sportsmanship and hard work will carry our student-athletes to be successful in all facets of their lives.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.
I would be working on Wall Street or would be a lawyer.