Chuck Grant steps down as athletic director at Millis, takes over as AD at Tiverton (R.I.)

After 20 years as the athletic director at Millis High School, Chuck Grant is stepping down.

The longtime AD is taking the same post at Tiverton High School in Rhode Island.

"I wanted to focus more on my passion of athletics," said Grant on his reason for leaving Millis. "It was 50-50 in terms of AD and discipline and I knew that I wanted to get out from under the discipline at Millis.

"I couldn't afford to take a cut in pay so I was fortunate to find a school at Tiverton that offered me the opportunity to be a full-time athletic director without any teaching and discipline duties."

Grant also served as Dean of Student affairs at Millis.

Millis High athletic director Chuck Grant counts down an exercise for younger athletes during "Gut Camp" in Millis, Aug. 11, 2020. [Daily News and Wicked Local Staff Photos/John Walker]

While Grant will be moving on, he has a litany of memories from his two decades at Millis.

"I remember my first year I started what we call 'Gut Camp' which is a morning strength and conditioning program that I had brought over from Walpole," Grant said. "I remember my wife asking me how many kids I think will show up and I said, 'I'm hoping for 15.' There ended up being 29 kids participating and it has only grown ever since."

More: 'I’m a motivator': New Tiverton High athletic director brings wealth of experience, success

Mohawks girls basketball coach Dave Fallon believes that 'Gut Camp' has been the catalyst to the transformation of athletics at Millis.

"One of the first things that he did which was really game-changing for Millis was 'Gut Camp,'" Fallon said. "The idea that kids would get up early in the morning every summer and put in extra work, I think that was something that kind of naturally worked in Millis.

"We are a hardworking town and I think that was something right away that sparked something in terms of kids putting in the extra effort and knowing that would be valuable especially at a small school in a large conference." he added. "You have to work for everything you get."

In Grant's first year as AD at Millis, the boys volleyball team won a state championship in 2003.

"This school couldn't even fathom a state title," Grant said. "From there it just grew. The confidence and the determination to buy in just grew all the way to the very end from Grace Jewett and Abby Miller, Johnny Baker all the great ones just continue to model the expectations in terms of work ethic and commitment and the success that comes with it."

What Millis High boys soccer coach Jason O'Brien says he's going to miss most about Grant is the support that he has given his coaches.

"He has our back no matter what," said O'Brien, who has been the boys soccer coach at Millis for the last 20 years. "I've never seen the support from an AD to his coaches like Chuck does."

Under his leadership of Grant, the Millis girls basketball and soccer teams became powerhouses in the Tri-Valley League – and the state, winning multiple state and sectional titles.

Over his 20 years as AD, Grant has a handful of memories that stick out.

Charles 'Chuck' Grant will be the new athletic director at Tiverton High School.

"Seeing the girls basketball team play at the Boston Garden was just a tremendous symbol of improvement and transition to respectability brought to our town, to our community, our school, the program," Grant said. "Our back-to-back Super Bowls in football and our recent boys soccer league championship. It's an incredible accomplishment for those guys."

Grant says that his new home in Rhode Island is very similar to Millis. Even right down to the school colors.

"It's hard to believe that I could pick a school that is virtually identical to Millis which should ease the transition," Grant said. "So I'm hoping that the same template from Millis will be able to work at Tiverton."

Even though Grant will now be an hour away, he will never forget his time at Millis, a place he called home for the past two decades.

"I will miss Millis greatly," Grant said.

Ethan Winter is a senior multimedia sports journalist at the Daily News. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @EWints.

This article originally appeared on The Milford Daily News: Chuck Grant steps down as Millis athletic director