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Catching Up With: Dave Grant

May 27, 2001

Steve Virgen

Ask Dave Grant to reveal the secret of his success and you may be a

bit surprised.

Grant, whose resume reads like a tale of adventure, finds balance in

the pleasure of laughter. The longtime Orange Coast College administrator

and men's crew coach sometimes relies on humor to level the playing

field.

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"Humor has been an important part of my life," Grant said. "I admit to

reading all of o7 The New Yorkerf7 cartoons, before I read the

articles. Humor diffuses a lot of problems."

When he served as OCC's president 1989 to 1997, Grant broke the ice

and mended bridges with some comic relief.

"I used funny stories all the time," Grant said of his days as the

school's president. "Sometimes things are full of tension. When you cut a

million dollars out of the budget every year for three or four years,

it's tough. And you got to find some way to keep some balance."

These days, humor is still a friend whether he's coaching the Pirates

or maintaining his other interests.

Grant remains heavily involved with the Orange Coast College

Foundation. He was the chairman of the fundraising group that raised $1.2

million for the recent addition to the college's School of Sailing and

Seamanship.

Grant also serves on the board of trustees for the Newport Harbor

Nautical Museum, and was the president for two years.

At age 63, Grant shows no signs of slowing down. Last week, he and his

rowing team celebrated its season with a banquet for a finale.

The number of men rowing for Coast doubled from last year. Earlier

this month, OCC crew placed all of its teams in the finals for the first

time at the Avaya Collegiate Championship Regatta in Atlanta, the site of

the 1996 Olympic Games.

The Pirates also competed in the Head of the Charles Regatta in

Boston, in the fall.

"About 300,000 people come out on the banks of the Charles River,"

Grant said of event in Boston. "It's such a tremendous event for

oarsmen."

Coast, the only community college with crew, provides a unique

experience, which Grant takes great pride therein.

"(OCC crew) is a kind of fraternity and sorority," Grant said. "It

gives people a home or a place to meet, where they know everyone and see

each other everyday. This feeling of home happens for nine months of the

year. It's very special."

Grant remains stumped as to how long he will continue coaching, but as

long as he has fun, he will press on, he said. Regardless, coaching is

just a piece of the makeup of Dave Grant.

"I have a few other things in the fire besides rowing," he said.

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