by Joseph W. Gex II

Saint Stanislaus has hired former Rock-A-Chaw great Daniel Grieves as the head basketball coach for the 2021-22 school year. He takes over for former head coach Aaron Dunklin who was also a former three-sport great at the school.

Grieves, who helped lead the Rocks to the 2011 Class 4A state title, inherits a team that collected two wins in the 2020-21 season.

Grieves commented, “It is always a great feeling to come home. That is what Saint Stanislaus and Bay St. Louis is for me. It is where I grew into the man I am today. I am excited and blessed to be returning and I am eagerly awaiting the challenges ahead.”

Grieves, a 2011 graduate of Saint Stanislaus, worked at the school from 2012-20 as assistant Camp Director, prefect in the dormitory, and the Alumni Director. This past year Grieves served as a furnace operator for Big River Steel in Arkansas.

As a player at SSC, Grieves was nationally ranked and is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,443 points. In fact, Grieves is the only player at SSC with 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists, and 100 steals. He played under legendary SSC coach Jay Ladner.

He helped lead the Rocks to a 123-22 record over a four-year span with four state tournament appearances.

Grieves signed with the United States Air Force Academy to play basketball; however, he stayed one season and returned to play one season at Pearl River Community College. He then played one season at Louisiana-Monroe where he earned his undergraduate degree in just three years. He played his final season at Southeastern Louisiana University where he was reunited with Jay Ladner and earned his master’s degree in Organizational Communication/Kinesiology.

Grieves added, “There is a lot of work to do to get the players ready to compete this season. I have always been one to lead through my hard work and this challenge will not be any different. I am very humbled and appreciative to have this opportunity at a place that has had so much success over the years. I can’t wait to see what happens on the court with these young men; however, I am just as excited to see what kind of men they become. It is an incredible feeling and I can’t wait to get started.”

Grieves will not only be the head coach for the basketball program but he will also have classroom responsibilities at the school. SSC Principal Gary Blackburn stated, “We are very excited to have Daniel Grieves back ‘home.’ He was a star player at SSC and we are confident that he will be a great coach for us, too.”

Grieves comes to SSC without any prior coaching experience but his former coach and current head basketball coach at Southern Mississippi Jay Ladner commented on the release of Grieves’ hiring, “I’m very proud to see Daniel return to SSC and be in charge of the Rock-A-Chaw basketball program. I’m very appreciative of Aaron, as well, as both are former players. Daniel comes from a coaching lineage as both his mom and dad are incredible coaches. There is no doubt in my mind that he will do an incredible job and help return SSC to the top.”

When Ladner was hired at SSC during this time frame in 1991 to be head basketball coach, he, too, did not have any prior coaching experience. Some are probably thinking divine providence is in order. Time will tell on that front.

Grieves expects to meet his team for the first time in the near future and the program will begin preparing for the upcoming season in early June.