The Arkansas Volleyball Program has added to its coaching staff for the 2022 season with Dave Gantt as assistant coach.
“We had an excellent candidate pool for our inauguration. As we evaluated our needs, Dave became the ideal candidate,” said head coach Jason Watson. “His experience and expertise on the defensive side of the game is what made him so appealing.”
Gantt brings a wealth of coaching and administrative experience to Fayetteville. Most recently, Gantt served as Vice President of Athletics and Student Engagement/Athletics at the University of Providence (formerly the University of Great Falls), this alma mater in Great Falls Montana, from 2016 to 2021. In his role, Gantt helped facilitate a complete rebrand of the athletic department, added several sports programs, and helped increase the enrollment of student-athletes at the university.
In his final year in Providence, he also served as an assistant coach for the Argos volleyball team. The team secured its top spot in the event’s history with a great eight appearances in the NAIA tournament, the most wins to date with 28, and an event-best winning streak of 21 matches. Gantt was named the AVCA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Before returning to Great Falls, Gantt served as head coach of the Gonzaga women’s volleyball program from 2009–2016. During his tenure, Gonzaga had the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 1994 in 2014 and 2015, and Gantt coached the team’s first back-to-back All-Americans at Savannah Blinn. Under his guidance, Gantt helped improve the squad’s RPI from 271 to 89, with a rank lower than 35 in 2015.
He spent many years in administrative and academic roles between his tenure at Gonzaga and his appointment as head volleyball coach at Montana State, where he served from 1994 to 2002. Gantt still holds his position as Montana State’s winningest volleyball coach and, in his time, the Bobcats ranked in the top 20 in annual attendance. Watson served as Gantt’s assistant at Montana State as he began his coaching career.
“Personally, I am grateful that Dave would consider this opportunity. He has been a profound influence on my career. There are a lot of traits within our program that can be traced back to my days at Montana State as an assistant I look forward to working closely with him, along with our entire staff, to continue our growth as a team.”
Gantt was also the head coach at Oregon State and Northern Montana State early in his career and spent time with the US men’s national team as an assistant, where he focused on blocking and defense.