Multi-million dollar endowment to fund UD men’s basketball head coaching slot

DAYTON — An “ardent fan and longtime season ticket holder” has created a multi-million dollar endowment that will fund the University of Dayton men’s basketball head coaching position, the university announced Wednesday evening.

The Dr. Stephen B. Levitt Head Men’s Basketball Coaching Chair is the largest donor-funded endowment involving a chaired position in the university’s history, and the first head coaching chair endowment for the Flyers, Neil Sullivan, UD vice president and director of athletics, said in a prepared statement.

Anthony Grant, who is entering his sixth season as head coach, will be the first Levitt head coaching chair.

>> Have a tip about breaking news? Here’s how to contact us

The gift will accelerate the university’s ability to invest in the head coach’s salary and increased program excellent associated with men’s basketball, according to the university.

“I, along with Flyer fans everywhere, am grateful for Dr. Levitt’s longtime support of the men’s basketball program,” Sullivan said in the statement. “He has stood alongside the men’s basketball program for decades, supporting hundreds of players and dozens of coaches. An endowed chair is one of the highest honors in higher education, and through his generosity, he deserves it.”

UD describes Dr. Levitt as an ardent fan and longtime season ticket holder who has always taken enormous pride and interest in the players and coaches.

“In the past year, I have talked at length with Neil Sullivan as to what would be a meaningful legacy to give to this wonderful program, one that would be there for perpetuity,” Dr. Levitt said in a statement included in the announcement. “It was decided that the endowment of the men’s basketball coaching chair would be the most lasting and appropriate action. An endowed chair is a special opportunity, carrying with it considerable prestige and demonstrating the strongest commitment on the part of the donor and the university to a particular program.”

Grant, a Flyer co-captain and MVP who graduated from UD in 1987, was the consensus National Coach of the Year in 2020.

“We are extremely grateful for Dr. Levitt’s generosity and commitment to the future of Dayton basketball,” Grant said in a prepared statement. “Having known Doc since my days as an UD undergraduate, I’m honored to be the inaugural head coach for his endowment. His impact on our program will be felt for generations to come.”

>> Coach Grant issues statement in aftermath of daughter’s death

Levitt said he is very happy that Grant is the first recipient.

Dr. Levitt’s previous philanthropic leadership for Dayton athletics led to the creation of the Levitt Wall of Recognition in 2014, located in the south concourse of the UD Arena, which includes names of the many alumni, fans and friends who have supported UD financially throughout their lifetime.

Dr. Levitt founded Dermatologists of Southwest Ohio in 1978 and is a member of many professional medical organizations including the American Academy of Dermatology, Dayton Society of Internal Medicine, Montgomery County Medical Society and Ohio State Medical Association. He retired from actively practicing medicine in 2018.