Fifth-year assistant elevated to top lieutenant
GOSHEN, Ind. — The Goshen College women’s basketball program and head coach Stephanie Miller have announced the promotion of Vinnie Granato to associate head coach.
Granato is in his fifth season as an assistant coach on the Maple Leaf bench, having joined Miller’s staff in 2014. He was part of the deepest postseason run and winningest season in program history in his second year, when the 2015-16 team finished 27-9 and reached the Fab Four in the NAIA national tournament.
The Watsontown, Pennsylvania, native is a 2014 graduate of Clarion University, where he spent four seasons as a manager for the men’s basketball program after serving two years in a similar capacity at Warrior Run High School. He started his coaching career at Redbank Valley High School in Pennsylvania in the 2013-14 season.
Since his arrival in Goshen, Granato has been instrumental in player development, scouting, recruiting, and coordinating the practice squad.
“Vinnie’s work ethic, knowledge of the game, and his work with the men’s squad and our film packages have made him an invaluable asset to the Maple Leaf program,” Miller said. “His passion for learning the game combined with his desire to care for and develop the young women in our program on and off the floor are what make Vinnie such a special young coach. It was no coincidence that his assistance helped lead to the ascent of the program, highlighted by a no. 4 national ranking and a Fab Four appearance.”
In his role as associate head coach, Granato will head up the film and scouting components of game preparation and will serve as the program’s recruiting coordinator. He will continue to be responsible for on-court player development and the men’s practice squad while adding responsibilities in practice planning and preparation.
“This was the right time for Vinnie to take on a different level of responsibility within our program and we couldn’t be more excited to see him succeed,” Miller said. “Although he had previous played a role in each of his new responsibilities, his talents and growth allow us to have Vinnie to head up these areas and further strengthen our program.”
“Going forward, I hope to continue to help develop the Maple Leaf program and the student-athletes in it,” Granato said. “I thank coach Miller for her continued confidence in me. It continues to be an honor to work for her and Goshen College.”
The Maple Leafs play three home games in five days beginning Friday night: Goshen hosts Ohio Christian at 7 p.m. Friday, Viterbo at 5 p.m. Saturday and Mount Vernon Nazarene at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The latter two dates are part of doubleheaders with the GC men’s team.
What His Players Say About Coach Granato:
Alyson Prigge, junior:
“As one of Vinnie’s first recruits, I have had a great relationship with him from the beginning. He is a great mentor and ‘big brother’ to all of us. His time and dedication to the players and the program in general goes above and beyond. I’d be bummed if he wasn’t here for my senior season next year, but I know that he’ll make a great head coach someday.”
Tyra Carver, 2016 graduate and assistant coach at Catawba Valley Community College:
“Vinnie is such a valuable piece of the GC women’s basketball program. His intelligence with Xs and Os is off the charts. Vinnie helped me see the game from a different prospective when I played under him. This is a well-deserved position for a great guy like Vinnie.”
Sophia Sears, 2017 graduate; 2016 second-team All-American:
“Vinnie’s basketball knowledge and enthusiasm for the game make him a terrific asset to the program. I’m excited to see what he will bring to the table as associate head coach.”
Liz Tecca, 2016 graduate and program record-holder in games played:
“Vinnie Granato is such an asset to the women’s basketball program. In addition to his incredible basketball IQ and knack for playwork, he acts as a stand-in brother to every player on the team, providing support and pushing us when we need it.”