MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State head men’s basketball coach James Whitford has announced Jason Grunkemeyer is joining the Cardinals’ staff as an assistant coach.
A former player at Miami University, Grunkemeyer has spent time as an assistant coach at both his alma mater and Saint Louis University. He joins Brett Nelson, who was named the Cardinals’ associate head coach last week, on the Ball State staff. Whitford has one more assistant coaching position to announce.
“I helped recruit Jason, and I have coached him and known him for 17 years,” Whitford said. “He is one of the most high-character young men I have ever been around, and he had a very successful playing career at Miami University. At each of the places he has been, he has done an exceptional job. He is a terrific addition to our staff.”
Grunkemeyer worked as an assistant coach at Miami University from 2007-12. He served under his former college mentor Charlie Coles, where he had responsibilities in coaching, recruiting and oversight of scheduling. After Coles retired in 2012, Grunkemeyer spent the 2012-13 year as athletic director at Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio.
Before joining the staff at his alma mater, Grunkemeyer spent six seasons at Saint Louis, working under head coaches Lorenzo Romar and Brad Soderberg. He was the director of basketball operations for one season and an assistant coach for five, helping the Billikens to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament in both 2003 and 2004. He also played a role in the program’s first 20-win season in nine years during the 2006-07 campaign.
Grunkemeyer played at Miami University while Whitford was an assistant coach on the staff. He was a part of the RedHawks’ 1998-99 team that went 24-8, won the Mid-American Conference title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
“I am very familiar with Ball State, both as an opposing player and coach,” Grunkemeyer said. “I have always though it was a great basketball situation. I loved playing at Worthen Arena and thought they always had great fans. For me to be a part of that is exciting.”
Grunkemeyer ranks among the top 10 in Miami University history in 3-point field goals, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage. He played in three straight MAC Tournament championship games with the RedHawks after spending his freshman year at Ohio.
“I was really only looking to return to coaching right now if it was the right opportunity with the right guy,” Grunkemeyer said. “Ball State is the right opportunity, and Coach Whitford is that guy. He really does care about his players and wants to have relationships with them that go beyond their four years in college.”
Grunkemeyer is a native of Cincinnati and a former all-state player at Moeller High School. He and his wife Angie have two sons, Joshua and Nathan.