Original article (Grant Billmeier Named Maryland Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach) on the University of Maryland’s athletic website umterps.com.
A member of Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall for 11 seasons, helping lead the Pirates to two Big East Championships, Grant Billmeier joined Willard’s staff on Tuesday.
Ranked second in a poll of top assistant coaches in the BIG EAST by his peers in a 2020 Stadium survey, Billmeier was Seton Hall’s associate head coach for the 2021-22 season where they reached the NCAA Tournament and defeated two top-10 teams.
A 2007 graduate of Seton Hall, Billmeier was an assistant coach on Willard’s staff from 2015-21, the Director of Basketball Operations in 2013-14 and the Coordinator of Basketball Operations from 2010-13, with a one year stint as an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson in 2014-15.
“I am excited that Grant will be joining us at Maryland,” said Willard. “I have known and worked with Grant for many years. He has a championship background and experience in developing some of the most skilled bigmen in the country. He has strong recruiting connections in the Northeast and nationally and will help bring some of the best talent to College Park. We welcome, Grant and his family to Maryland.”
“Continuing to work alongside Coach Willard is very special to me,” said Billmeier. “We have won together and built a winning culture together. Being able to do that at Maryland is something I am very excited about. I can’t wait to get started recruiting the newest Terps and helping the players develop into some of the best in the Big Ten and the country.”
Billmeier had a hand in both the 2020 Big East Regular Season Championship and the 2016 Big East Tournament Championships, both the program’s first since 1993. Together, Willard and Billmeier have finished top-four in the Big East on six occasions and have posted 26 Quad 1 wins over the last four seasons. The 26 Q1 wins are among the Top 15 among all teams in the nation since the 2018-19 season.
Known for his work with big men, Billmeier has been instrumental in developing Seton Hall’s forwards and centers into leaders in the Big East. The Pirates finished in the top two of the conference in rebounding for three consecutive seasons from 2016-18.
Billmeier helped develop Angel Delgado into one of the top basketball players in the country and a Seton Hall legend, earning the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar National Center of the Year Award in 2018. Delgado led the nation in rebounding at 13.1 per game in 2017, was named All-America honorable mention, the Metropolitan Player of the Year and unanimous All-Big East. Then in 2018, Delgado broke the Big East career rebounds record, averaged a double-double, and posted the NCAA Tournament’s first 20-20 game since 2012 (24 points, 23 rebounds vs. Kansas). Billmeier also worked to help Delgado’s teammate Ismael Sanogo develop into a starter and one of the best defenders in the Big East.
In 2020, Billmeier helped mold Romaro Gill into one of the most-feared shot blockers in the Big East. After transferring in from a junior college, Gill had a promising junior season that then exploded into one of the most impactful senior years anyone’s had in a Pirates uniform. Gill averaged 3.2 blocks per game to finish third in the nation, and he won the Big East’s blocks championship by averaging 3.4 rejections per conference contest. To add to his impact, Gill drastically improved his offensive game and was the Big East’s field goal percentage champion by making 63.5 percent of his attempts during league play. At season’s end, he not only was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year, but he also was named Big East Most Improved.
Billmeier also had a hand in Sandro Mamukelashvili’s development from playing only 9.6 minutes per game as a freshman into the 2021 Big East Player of the Year as a senior. A 6-11 power forward with great shooting and passing abilities, Mamukelashvili worked hard with Billmeier to become one of the conference’s top threats. In 2020-21, Mamukelashvili was one of only two players in the Big East to rank in the league’s top-five in scoring and rebounding and top-15 in scoring, rebounding and assists. In addition to being named the conference player of the year, Mamukelashvili was the 2021 Haggerty Award Metropolitan Player of the Year, All-America honorable mention and a finalist for the Karl Malone National Power Forward of the Year Award.
Including his two NCAA Tournament appearances as a student-athlete in 2004 and 2006, Billmeier represented Seton Hall in six NCAA Tournament bids, tying former head coach P.J. Carlesimo and assistant coaches Bruce Hamburger and Tom Sullivan for most NCAA Tournament appearances while either playing and/or coaching at Seton Hall.
During Billmeier’s first stint on Willard’s coaching staff, his primary roles included serving as the academics liaison and the daily and monthly scheduling of practice times, lifting schedules and team meals. He also coordinated with local hospitals, foundations and soup kitchens to bring student-athletes out to the community.
As a player for Seton Hall, Billmeier was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain for the Pirates from 2003-07, playing in 106 career games and helping the program reach the NCAA Tournament twice in 2004 and ’06 and a first-round win over Arizona in ’04. He was the recipient of the Robin Cunningham Award for having the best academic success on the team.
A native of Pennington, N.J. and graduate of St. Patrick High School, Billmeier previously was an assistant coach at his alma mater under head coach Kevin Boyle. At St. Patrick, he helped the school win the 2003 New Jersey Tournament of Champions. After graduating from Seton Hall, Billmeier played professionally in Germany and Portugal and started his own basketball summer camp, the Billmeier and Nardi Skills Camp, alongside former St. Patrick teammate and Villanova guard Mike Nardi.
Billmeier and his wife, Jennifer, were married in May 2017 and are parents to their daughter, Avery, born March 2018, and son, Luke, born June 2021.