Iowa coach loses battle with cancer
July 24, 2007
James Grant, University of Iowa Head Women's Track and Field Coach, lost a two-year battle with cancer Monday in Iowa City. Grant, 60, was in his 23rd year with the Hawkeyes, serving as an assistant coach for 11 years (1986-96) and the head coach for the past 12 (1996-2007). He is survived by five children - Flor-Maria Grant-Cope, Suzette Grant-McTaggart, Aisha Grant-Daley, Kareem Segler and Jamie-Lee Grant.
"The University of Iowa family has lost a valued member today," said University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta. "Jim Grant, in addition to being an outstanding coach and representative of the Iowa Athletic Department, was a good person. The news of Jim's passing is terribly sad for all us who knew and worked with him. The example he set as a coach and important member of our staff was truly something special. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
At Iowa, Grant coached one NCAA champion, 15 all-Americans, 26 Big Ten champions, three NCAA Midwest Regional champions, 28 all-region selections and 81 NCAA Midwest Regional qualifiers. Iowa placed third at the 2004 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Iowa City, sixth at the 2003 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and 10th at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional - the team's highest placings under Grant. The third-place Big Ten indoor finish tied the team's highest conference finish in school history. In the past 11 seasons, 30 school records were set by Grant's student-athletes. A total of 61 Hawkeyes have earned 111 academic all-Big Ten honors under Grant.
Grant coached at the high school level in Jamaica for 11 years prior to joining the Hawkeye program. From 1982-86, Grant coached men's and women's track at G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport. There he led the men's team to two national titles and two second-place finishes, and the women's team to three national titles.
Grant received his bachelor's degree in sociology and history from Eastern Michigan in 1971, and his master's degree in physical education from the German College of Physical Education in Leipzig, Germany, in 1982.
While at Eastern Michigan, Grant captained the 1970 and 1971 Huron track teams, earning all-America honors while specializing in the 400 meters, 400-meter hurdles, and the mile relay. He was the Jamaican 400-meter hurdle national record holder, with a time that was ranked in the top-20 in the world. Grant was a member of the Jamaican National Team from 1966-72, competing at the Pan American and Commonwealth Games. In 1991, he was inducted into the Eastern Michigan Hall of Fame. He was the 1965 and 1966 Jamaican national champion in both the 200 and 400-meters as a high school athlete at Jamaica's Kingston College.
He was born January 8, 1947, and is a native of Jamaica. Funeral services are pending.