Courtesy of GoGriffs.com
Canisius head men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon announced Tuesday that Gravelle Craig has been hired to his staff as an assistant coach. Craig joins the Golden Griffins’ coaching staff after spending the previous four seasons as the head coach of the high school national team at SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio.
In his time at SPIRE, considered one of the top prep schools in the country, Craig helped more than 20 student-athletes receive NCAA Division I scholarship offers, including current Canisius guard Tahj Staveskie, a unanimous selection to the 2022-23 MAAC All-Rookie Team.
Craig brings more than 18 years of NCAA Division I basketball coaching experience to Witherspoon’s staff, including 12 seasons as an assistant coach and six years as a head coach. Prior to taking over the program at SPIRE, Craig spent the 2018-19 campaign on the coaching staff at Stetson University. Before his year at Stetson, Craig spent 13 seasons on staff at Bethune Cookman, where he was the team’s head coach for six years (2011-17).
“Gravelle has been in a lot of different situations, as a player, as an assistant coach and as a head coach,” Witherspoon said. “He brings a tremendous dynamic of leadership to our program. He brings a wealth of knowledge as a recruiter and as a coach, both on and off the floor. He has spent a lot of time in different parts of the country too, so he also has a wealth of connections and knowledge about different teams and players at various levels. Gravelle is a great fit for what we need here as a staff.”
“I believe this is the right opportunity for me both personally and professionally,” Craig said. “I have been following Canisius and coach Witherspoon for the past few years as they recruited and then signed Tahj Staveskie. I was not looking to leave SPIRE, but after I spoke with Reggie and researched the team, I quickly came to realize this program is poised to do great things right now. I am excited and grateful for the chance to be back at the Division I level with a program and a staff that I believe in.”
In his first year as the head coach at Bethune Cookman (2011-12), Craig led the Wildcats to 18 wins and their first MEAC Tournament championship game appearance. He was on staff at Bethune Cookman when the Wildcats posted their first 20-win season (21 wins in 2010-11), which resulted into the school’s first berth in the NIT.
Prior to entering the college coaching ranks, Craig spent a summer working as the Director of Cleveland Pro-Am Summer Basketball League where numerous NBA players such as Bob Sura, James Posey, Earl Boykins and J.R. Bremer were mentored as a part of his leadership.
As a collegiate player, Craig attended the University of Richmond before transferring to Cleveland State University after his freshman season. Craig led the Vikings to the 1993 Mid-Con Conference championship in a year where he averaged 15.0 points and 6.0 assists per game. A 1992-93 All-Mid-Con Conference First-Team selection and an honorable mention All American, Craig set a Mid-Con Conference Tournament record with 14 assists in a game against Akron.
A native of Farrell, Pa., Craig earned his undergraduate degree from Cleveland State in 1999 and then went on to receive his master’s degree from Bethune Cookman.