Grant Achilles, who spent two seasons as an assistant coach, was named head coach of the Brown baseball program in an announcement made by Brown Director of Athletics Jack Hayes on Monday, June 23, 2014.
Achilles spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Bears before taking over the head coaching duties midway through the 2014 season. Achilles is Brown’s 17th head coach since 1900, while the program was founded in 1863.
“We’re excited to have Grant Achilles lead our baseball program,” said Hayes. “Grant has been an important part of the program since coming to Brown and has earned the respect of the team members over the past two seasons. He brings both passion and knowledge to the position and will be an excellent leader for the program."
“I’m humbled and excited to become the head coach at Brown, one of the most renowned universities in the country,” said Achilles. “I would like to thank Jack Hayes, Bob Kenneally and the rest of the search committee for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working with the student-athletes, alumni and the entire Brown community to build on Brown’s traditions and lead the program to a new level of success.”
In 2015, Achilles' first full season as head coach, the Bears finished with an overall record of 11-28 and improved across the board in several offensive categories, including team batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.349) and slugging (.401).
Rob Henry ’17 was named Second Team All-Ivy following the season after he ranked second in the Ivy League in batting average and doubles, while Chris Smith '15 and Jake Levine '16 earned Honorable Mention honors. Henry was also named to the NEIBA Division I Second Team. In addition, Levine was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team, which recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.
In 2016, Brown landed four All-Ivy selections, including multiple First Team honorees for the first time since the 2010 season. Josh Huntley ’17 was named to the First Team after leading the team with a .361 average in league play, developing into one of the top offensive catchers in the league. Reliever Dante Bosnic ’18 was also named to the First Team, while outfielder Jake Levine ’16 and right-hander Christian Taugner Æ17 both earned Second Team accolades.
Following the 2016 season, left-handed pitcher Austin French ’16 was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. He was Brown’s second draftee in three years and highest selection (27th round) since 2011.
Before Brown, Achilles spent one year as an assistant coach at Georgetown University. While coaching for the Hoyas, Achilles worked primarily with the hitters, developing an offense that had a team batting average of .274 in Big East play, an improvement of .033 from the previous year. Two of his protégés were named to the All-Big East team for the 2012 season, with infielder Mike Garza earning first team honors and outfielder Justin Leeson being selected for the third team. Garza’s 86 hits tied the Georgetown single-season hits record, and he was drafted and signed by the Milwaukee Brewers at the end of the season. Leeson hit a career best .325 and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals.
Prior to his year at Georgetown, Achilles spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant on the staff at Wake Forest, working primarily with hitters and outfielders. At the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Kansas City Royals signed outfielder Steven Brooks to a minor league contract, and in 2011, the Demon Deacons returned to the ACC tournament for the first time since 2008.
Achilles also served on the staff at Western Carolina for two years, earning a promotion to assistant head coach after his first season. While at WCU, Achilles helped guide the Catamounts to two winning seasons, including a 35-22 mark in 2009.
Achilles spent a season with the Charlotte 49ers baseball program before joining the staff at Western Carolina, working with the catchers, assisting with the defense and hitters and also serving as the first base coach. The 49ers completed one of the most successful seasons in program history under his guidance, earning 49 wins and advancing to the Columbia, SC, regional in the NCAA tournament. While in Charlotte, Achilles worked with Kris Rochelle, an All-Atlantic 10 catcher and a 2007 Detroit Tigers draft pick.
A member of the team at Wake Forest from 2002 to 2006, Achilles was a four-year letter winner for the Demon Deacons. He appeared in 56 games, making 19 starts, while playing a variety of positions, including first base, second base, right field and catcher.
Originally from Lynchburg, Va., Achilles graduated from Wake Forest in 2006 with a degree in communication. He has two brothers, Chad and Todd, both of whom attended Wake Forest. Todd also played baseball for the Demon Deacons, serving as an infielder from 1997 to 2001.
Grant resides in Providence, R.I. with his wife, Elizabeth.