David Grace is back and has returned to his roots - coaching the state's best talent in Arizona. After many years of success in the state and an illustrious college coaching career, Grace has returned to take over the 5A Defending State Champions, Centennial High School's boy's basketball program. While the program won it all last season, behind the leadership of Randy Lavender, Lavender and the program recently parted ways, allowing Grace to take over the program and begin a new era in Centennial High School basketball.
It was not thought that Grace would make a return to Arizona high school basketball at all or anytime soon. Especially after a strong college coaching career that included stops at Vanderbilt as an Associate Head Coach in 2019, after spending the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach at Cal. Prior to his stint with the Golden Bears, Grace completed five seasons at UCLA before arriving in Berkeley. He spent five seasons at Oregon State prior to that, along with stints at the University of San Francisco and Sacramento State. He also served with the United States Air Force for two decades.
Grace previously spent several years as a Head Coach in Arizona high school - leading South Mountain High School to the 5A Division-II State Championship during the 2004-05 season. Before that, Grace got his start coaching as an assistant coach under Mike Ellsworth at Trevor Browne High School.
At Centennial High School, Grace will be taking over an experienced ball club next season, that, while they lost some key components from last year's team, they still return enough to win it all again.
"It feels amazing!" said David Grace. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity. I have a great administration, players and parents." Grace went on to say, "I'm really enjoying being back in Arizona and doing what I really love. It feels great being able to lead such a great basketball program at Centennial."
Grace is focused on Centennial High School and the success of his new program. Grace has a strong background of leading young men and mentoring and developing them to become leaders, on and off the basketball court. His talks before and after games are legendary and he puts his heart and soul into everything he does. I will enjoy watching him do what he does best - get the most out of his players and win at a high level.
Congratulations to David Grace and the Centennial basketball program on this hire, and our staff here wishes Coach Grace the best of luck next season.