CHARLOTTE – Providence Day has hired Chad Grier to coach the football team.
He replaces Adam Hastings, who resigned to take the head coaching job at Indian Land High School.
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Grier, 52, had been living the good life, in an apartment right on the water in the South Carolina Lowcountry with his nearly 1-year-old son, Hank, and wife, Nila.
After going 64-9 and winning four state titles at Davidson Day, he had taken over Oceanside Collegiate, a team that had gone 0-8 in 2016, when the Davidson Day football program folded.
The Landsharks were 7-3 in his first year, 8-3 the next and 8-5 last year, when they reached the S.C. 2A semifinals.
“It’s hard to leave here,” Grier said by phone. “We love it here, we love the school and we love our kids. It’s hard, hard, hard to leave. It was going to take something significant for me to ever leave here. It wasn’t just football to football because I never would have made the decision for just football. But the whole package they presented was something I had to consider.”
Grier said a big part of the decision came down to Hank.
The Griers were originally looking for a new house in the Mount Pleasant area of South Carolina but will now shift that search to Charlotte.
The move makes sense for Grier who will be close to his mom, brothers, uncle and his wife’s family in Hickory. Another plus is being closer to his son, Will, the Carolina Panthers quarterback, his wife and their two daughters.
“This feels like God leading us home, so let’s go home,” Grier said. “I don’t know anywhere else we would have come back for. Providence Day has always intrigued me. When I got to know the people, it was as advertised or better even. I think it’s a place where we can do some really special things and at the same time, have Hank raised around family and I can be a bigger part of my granddaughters’ lives. There are a lot of positives to coming home.”
Long history with PD
Grier was a three-sport star at Charlotte Latin growing up, excelling in baseball, football and basketball with the Hawks. He played the first game ever played on Providence Day’s campus and twice helped lead shutout wins over the Chargers when he was the quarterback.
Some of his old classmates are having fun with it.
“Several of my Latin classmates on Facebook hit me up and said I can’t believe you’re going over there,” he joked. “I told them to come on and I’ll have a hat for them.”
But there is a lot to like about Providence Day that makes it appealing.
Grier said he remembered the first time he brought Davidson Day, who never did have its own football field despite the four state titles. He was amazed at the facilities and not just on the football field or in the weight room.
“They have 41 National Merit Scholarships,” Grier said. “Getting to see it up close, it’s first class. It’s just like everything at that school. Their academics are first class and there are a lot of colleges that wished they had the campus Providence Day has built. They have plans to continue to grow and expand and there’s no complacency there. That’s one of the things I love.”
Settling down somewhere
Grier said now isn’t the best time to be looking for houses with the coronavirus scare, but he will begin that process soon.
For now, he may be doing some back and forth to keep Hank and Nila in one place but the arrival of Hank has definitely changed his priorities.
“We were not looking to leave here, and we were thinking we’d come down here, settle down and travel some, but God said ‘Hold my beer, I got something else for you,’” Grier said. “But he’s just such a blessing. I can’t imagine life without Hank. He was a big part of the decision that tipped the scales for us so he could come home and be raised by family.
“We live 10 feet from the water where we are now. When he’s 8 and wants to go outside and dig a hole, it’s either no or I’m going to have to go with you. At that point, I’ll be 60, so I’ll be in the house. So, yeah, we’re going to find something close to the school because I know I’ll be there 10 to 12 hours every day.”
With school life stopped with no kids or teachers on campus, this transition is going to be a weird one, but Grier said he’s assembling a staff and ready to dive in to see what he has with the Chargers coming this fall.
“I don’t know all of what we’ve got, and I don’t know what they’ve got, so I have a lot of catching up to do,” Grier said. “But I’m ready to get to work and start figuring some of it out.”
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