When longtime PSAL boys basketball coach Floyd Bank
announced his retirement from the city coaching ranks during the 2000-01
season, Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby had a few choice words for his
"He said, 'Thanks for making me one of the oldest coaches, and the dean of
[PSAL] coaches in New York City,'" Bank recounted with a chuckle.
But no other coach is better suited to wear that title than Granby.
The Morris High alum has seen the PSAL from its heyday of the 1950s and
'60s, through his first season of 1969-70, to the lean fiscal years of the
mid-'70s, through the '80s when the CHSAA became the premier league in the
city, and the recent expansion of alternative schools and the formation of
magnet schools in the 1990s, which, in 1994, changed the name of his beloved
Jackson High to Campus Magnet.
In essence, Granby has just about seen or heard it all after 33 years of
He's had a door slammed in his face while attempting to enter an opposing
school with his team because he is African-American. But the Harlem-born,
Bronx-raised Granby also has enjoyed the glory years of Jackson in the 1970s
and '80s, which featured packed gymnasiums and even ticket scalping.
Recently, Granby, with a career record of 543-124, has felt more of a
burden in coaching fundamentals, something he rarely experienced in his early
"I've done more coaching the past few years than I did at any other time in
my life," Granby said. "I have kids at tryouts who can't take a layup, or
dribble, with their left hand. They can't do it!"
Now this isn't some old-time coach clamoring for the glory days, though
Granby has seen his share. From 1971 through 1984, Jackson did not lose a
division game at home, according to Granby. The school won a PSAL city title in
1985, the school's first in more than 40 years.
"We had anywhere from 800 to 1,400 people [per game] there," Granby said.
"We would have this big game the night before Thanksgiving, and there would be
people outside scalping tickets."
Former Jackson standout Derek Hawkins remembers some of Granby's catch
"He'd say, 'Don't get married until you're 30,' and, 'No romance without
the finance,'" laughed Hawkins, who graduated from Columbia and has been a Port
Authority engineer for 18 years.
As the seasons roll on, Granby has seen team-concept basketball, back-door
cuts and weak-side rebounding become a thing of the past.
"We had one kid - the last one on the bench - ask me, 'Coach, can we run a
clear-out for me?'" Granby said. "I told him, 'I'll run a clear-out for you;
I'll run you clear out of the gym.'"
But Granby isn't always the hard-nosed, granite-fisted, raspy-voiced coach.
Granby, who retired from teaching in 1996, still believes in talking to former
players and students alike. He did even more than that for former basketball
standout Paul Ruddock two years ago.
Ruddock's 4-year old son, Giovanni, died in a fire along with his
girlfriend's parents on Feb. 5, 2000.
"Coach was there for me then," said Ruddock, who graduated from Dowling
that year with a degree in business management. "My father wasn't around much,
but coach was. You know when you play for coach Granby, he'll be there for you
your whole life."
For Granby, it's not part of the job, but part of his vocation. Always the
"It's not about the all-stars [I've coached], it's about all the kids who
have played for me," Granby said. "When one of them comes by and says, 'Thank
you for helping me get into college,' that makes it all worth it."