March 29, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS - After 36 seasons leading the Marian University (Ind.) men's basketball program, John Grimes has announced his retirement as head coach of the Knights.
“The board of trustees and the entire Marian University community are thankful for Coach Grimes’ extraordinary service," Marian President Daniel J. Elsener said. "He was committed to educating the whole person: mind, body and spirit. An exemplar as a coach, he provided character-building leadership to thousands of young women and men during his career."
"We would like to thank Coach Grimes for everything he has done for the Marian University department of athletics and the men's basketball program," director of athletics Steve Downing said. "Words cannot express the respect I have for Coach Grimes and the way he led his program. He accomplished a great deal during his 36 seasons, leading the team to Mid-Central College Conference titles as well as NAIA tournament appearances."
In a legendary career that spanned four decades, Grimes earned a 566-408 record, which ranks him sixth all-time in victories in the state of Indiana and 12th all-time in NAIA history. His teams earned four NAIA national championship tournament berths, won three Mid-Central College Conference championships and won two MCC Tournament championships.
During his career, Grimes had 12 seasons with 19 or more victories and seven with 20 or more wins. He led the Knights to their winningest season on record in 2000-01 when they went 25-4. They finished that season ranked third in the nation and earned a spot in the NAIA Division II round of eight. In 2003-04, the Knights finished 22-6 and earned a spot in the NAIA DII round of 16. This past season, Grimes guided the Knights back to the NAIA Division II National Championship where they earned a third round of 16 appearance. MU finished his final season with a 20-11 overall record, good for a third-place finish in the MCC, its highest since 2004-05.
He guided nine student-athletes to NAIA All-American honors with two being first-team picks, coached two MCC Players of the Year, was named MCC Coach of the Year six times and coached 26 all-conference selections during his tenure.
He devoted his professional life to Marian University with 36 seasons as head coach and 26 years as director of athletics.
During his career as athletic director, Grimes led the department's initial growth as he took the program from six varsity sports when he took over in 1979 to 18 by 2005. He oversaw the development of the 17-time national champion cycling team and developed sports like women's soccer and women's golf during his time as director. His AD career culminated in 2005 when he was named the NAIA Region VIII Athletic Director of the Year.
Coach Grimes' passion for seeing student-athletes excel in both the classroom and on the court brought him adulation from the Marian University community and is a testament to the commitment and dedication he brought to the department of athletics at Marian University.
"We are appreciative of Coach Grimes' dedication to graduating players and guiding them through the rigors of being a student-athlete," Downing said. "On behalf of the department of athletics and Marian University, we hope for the best for Coach Grimes and his family. Thank you for everything you have done to make Marian University a better place by doing things the right way."