Clint Bryant left Belmont Abbey College 36 years ago, but as athletic director at Georgia Regents University (formerly Augusta State) he is surrounded by Crusaders.
His men’s basketball coach (Dip Metress), men’s and women’s tennis coach (Michael McGrath) and men’s golf coach (Kevin McPherson) are all Abbey alums. Now Bryant will forever be a part of Abbey history, as he is one of two former Crusader standouts – along with Hank Steincke (class of 1963) – who will be inducted into the Dr. Michael P. Reidy Belmont Abbey Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 5.
Bryant came to the Abbey in 1973 and was a standout on the men’s basketball team under coach Bobby Hussey, leading the Crusaders in rebounds for much of his career and helping his teammate and close friend Carl Bell (BAC Hall of Fame inductee in 2011) become the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Bryant was the recipient of the Marty Thomas Award, given to the outstanding senior male athlete at Belmont Abbey. After graduating and getting his master’s degree from Clemson, Bryant went into coaching and eventually athletic administration, and he has been the athletic director in Augusta for 26 years.
“There have been many great athletes at Belmont Abbey who are more deserving of this honor than myself,” Bryant said, “but when I received word, I was extremely honored and humbled. My time at Belmont Abbey helped shape my career, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience there.”
One of his top coaches at Georgia Regents is Metress, a 1988 alum of Belmont Abbey who took two Crusader teams to the NCAA Division II tournament and has reached at least the elite eight of the national tournament twice since being in Augusta.
“He is a big reason for my success,” Metress said. “When I was in high school, Clint called Eddie Payne (then the Belmont Abbey coach) and recommended me as a player. Then he hired me as an assistant and now as head coach. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Steincke was a member of the basketball, soccer and baseball teams during his time in Belmont but was better known as a standout member of legendary coach Al McGuire’s basketball teams, which went 51-19 in his first three seasons, along with fellow hall-of-famers Danny Doyle and Joe McDermott.
Steincke was named the 1999 Alumnus of the Year and has sponsored Belmont Abbey’s participation in New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for 30 years.
Matt Kline is a freelance writer. Have story idea for Matt? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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