Original article (Arizona Hires April Phillips & Erin Grant as Assistant Coaches) on the University of Arizona’s athletic website arizonawildcats.com.
Arizona women’s basketball has hired April Phillips and Erin Grant as assistant coaches.
Phillips will return to Arizona after spending two seasons at California and was an assistant coach on the 2018-19 Arizona team that won the WNIT. Grant has been an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at USC the last two seasons.
“Right now we have a tremendous amount of momentum at Arizona, and I knew we needed to hire the best coaches in the country,” head coach Adia Barnes said. “After running a national search, I knew that April Phillips and Erin Grant were the best women for the job. I love working with coaches that are former players because they will bring different experiences, and both April and Erin will bring that to the table. I believe we have the best staff in the Pac-12 that will take us to the next level to bring home a National Championship.”
After her year at Arizona where the Wildcats won 24 games and a WNIT title, Phillips coached at California for two seasons where she helped Cal sign four top 100 recruits in the class of 2020. ESPN had Cal’s recruiting class ranked No. 7 in the country and signed McDonald’s All-American Dalayah Daniels, who averaged 12 points and seven rebounds as a freshman at Cal this past season.
“When we needed to hire another assistant coach, April was the first person that came to mind,” Barnes said. “I know her, I trust her, and we have a very good relationship. April and I both chose Arizona twice and we are thrilled to have her back a second time. She is the best recruiter on the west coast and one of the best in the country, but she is much more than just a recruiter. April is a very talented coach with a great basketball mind, and she is going to take us to another level.”
“I’m excited to return to Arizona,” Phillips said. “Since our WNIT Championship run, coach Barnes and her staff have done an amazing job of continuing to elevate this program. I am thrilled to work with this powerful staff to sustain success, continue building and most importantly mentor the current and future young women that we will coach.”
During her time at Arizona, she helped sign a class that consisted of Helena Pueyo, one of Arizona’s top three-point shooters and defenders on the team. She also worked with the posts in her year at Arizona, helping guide the development of Cate Reese who was a three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-Freshman Team.
Prior to her first stint at Arizona, Phillips spent three seasons at Loyola Marymount, including the last two as the program’s associate head coach. As the Lions’ recruiting coordinator, Phillips helped land two of the top recruiting classes in program history and was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Thirty Under 30 in both 2017 and 2018.
Before her time at LMU, Phillips spent the 2014-15 season as a graduate manager at Georgia Tech and the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach at the University of New Haven. Leading up to her time in Connecticut, Phillips served as the Coordinator of Basketball Operations at Seton Hall, assisting Hall of Fame coach Anne Donovan with practice planning, recruiting, student-athlete welfare, and day-to-day operations.
Prior to her return to the college ranks, Phillips served as co-president, head trainer, and coach from 2010 to 2013 at S&A Next Level Basketball, an organization that runs NCAA-certified women’s leagues in addition to various clinics and camps. She also served as the general manager of basketball operations of Sportsplus in Cincinnati, Ohio from 2010 to 2011, where her responsibilities included marketing of basketball leagues, camps and training
A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Phillips began her collegiate basketball career at Georgia Tech, playing for the Yellow Jackets during the 2005-06 season. Following her freshman year, Phillips transferred to Xavier where she played basketball and competed in track and field. She was named to the All-Atlantic 10 third team her senior season and helped Xavier to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Atlantic 10 titles. As a senior in 2010, Phillips held lead the Musketeers to the Elite Eight, falling just two points shy of the first Final Four appearance in program history. Phillips also excelled in track and field, setting the school’s outdoor shot put record.
After graduating from Xavier in 2010 with a degree in Business Information Systems and minors in Communication and Gender & Diversity Studies, Phillips was invited to preseason camp with the New York Liberty of the WNBA and played professionally in Israel, Finland and Belgium.