Trailblazers are saying goodbye to a Dixie State University staff member who was their coach, their adviser and their mentor- both on and off the field.
Terrance Grant brought a unique contribution to Trailblazers football, the Multicultural Inclusion Center, and to campus with his set of skills and experience. Grant was the wide receivers coach for the Trailblazers while also being the coordinator for Black and African American students at the MIC. His two roles on campus allowed Grant to bring a fresh perspective to each environment.
Ali Threet, Dean of Students, said Grant was perfect for his most recent role at the MIC due to his range of skills.
“With being a coach, [Grant] has gained the skills required for the [coordinator for Black and African American Students] position,” Threet said. “He wasn’t just a coach but a mentor to so many student athletes, and he’s someone students could relate to.”
Wide receiver Damani Wilks, a sophomore sociology major from Las Vegas, Nevada, said it is important to him that coaches relate to the athletes on a cultural level.
“[Grant] cares about us as players and as people,” Wilks said. “He keeps it real with us and knows how to talk to us.”
Wilks said having a coach who also did work at the MIC helped Grant bond with students, helped athletes stay involved with campus events, and helped athletes gain a more well-rounded experience in their sport.
Likewise, defensive back Darrius Nash, a senior sports recreation major from Los Angeles, said it was important to him that Grant was someone who knew how to not only coach different types of athletes, but mentor them in their academic and personal lives.
“He gave me a lot of insight on my own life and showed me that he’s there for me,” Nash said. “It’s important to have that connection and understanding because teams need that type of chemistry to function.”
Grant said his time coaching and his time working with the MIC was a rewarding experience, and both his roles went hand-in-hand.
“The only difference between both jobs is the X’s and O’s,” Grant said. “On the field, you’re not just a coach–you’re a life coach… I’ve helped athletes get through a lot in the classroom, at home and on the field.”
Grant said coaching is all about the athletes. Students’ first priority is their performance in the classroom. The athletes he’s worked with often faced challenges that ultimately affected their studies. Along with technical football skills, Grant was a mentor to his athletes throughout their challenges. Grant gained experience offering guidance and seeking resources to assist Trailblazers, which became his primary responsibility as an MIC student coordinator. Advising students happened naturally for him whether it was a student athlete or a Black Student Union member at the MIC.
Grant said it’s important for DSU to have advisers for different student demographics because it helps with retention and contributes to the positive student life experience of Trailblazers.
“For some students, this is their first time away from their families and their cultures,” Grant said. “It’s important that they have someone to go to who can relate to them and help them feel more at home in a new place.”
He said the MIC and its student coordinators play an important role in creating a sense of belonging for all students, as well as educating students about each other’s cultures and experiences.
“The MIC is for everyone so every student should feel welcome,” Grant said. “It’s for students of all walks of life to learn, go to events and be exposed to new things.”
Threet said the MIC will be looking to hire not only a new coordinator for Black and African American students, but a coordinator for Asian and Pacific Islander students, as well as a coordinator for first generation students. She said MIC student coordinators should be relatable to students, someone who can work with diverse populations and should be familiar with resources available to students. Student coordinators also advise an MIC student club and assist with events. Threet said she hopes to see these positions filled by mid-May. She said DSU students, athlete or otherwise, who Grant worked closely with are welcome to work with any other student coordinator at the MIC.
“With quick turnover, students often feel the growing pains of change and some uncertainty,” Threet said. “The MIC is for all students, and any student who needs support can come to the MIC and talk to any of the student coordinators, or they can even reach out to me.”
Threet said, with her open-door policy, she prioritizes making herself available to students and is happy to offer support for any student feeling lost without Grant on campus. She said having Grant at DSU was a positive experience for everyone, and he is always welcome back to work with Trailblazers again.
Grant’s time at DSU officially ended in March, but he said it was a memorable experience overall.
“The most memorable experience wasn’t a single event, but the people I got to work with like the Black Student Union group, my wideouts … my MIC team and [Threet,]” Grant said. “Remember to come in, work hard and stay positive. You all have it in you.”
To learn more about Dixie Athletics, the MIC or the Black Student Union, visit dixie.edu.