An All-Patriot League guard who played on Bucknell's 2005 and 2006 NCAA Tournament teams, John Griffin returned to his alma mater in April 2015 as an assistant coach under Nathan Davis. Griffin helped the Bison capture Patriot League regular-season titles in each of his first two seasons back in Lewisburg, and in 2016-17 the Bison returned to the NCAAs for the seventh time in team history.
Last season the Bison finished 26-9 overall, 15-3 in the Patriot League, and defeated Lehigh 81-65 in the Patriot League championship game. Bucknell then made its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, dropping a hard-fought 86-80 decision to fourth-seeded West Virginia in the first round.
Griffin has helped develop one of the Patriot League's top backcourts, mentoring All-Patriot League guards Stephen Brown and Kimbal Mackenzie.
Davis was an assistant coach while Griffin scored 1,084 points during an outstanding four-year career at Bucknell. As a senior, he captained the team and earned First Team All-Patriot League honors after averaging 13.1 points per game. Griffin ranks third on Bucknell’s career list for 3-point field goals with 220, and his 127 games played was a school record at the time. He was a key reserve as a freshman on the 2005 Bison squad that upset Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
After graduating from Bucknell with a degree in economics in 2008, Griffin played professionally in Germany, Slovakia, England and Italy. He was the Player of the Year in the German Pro B division with Crailsheim in 2008-09, but his career was set back by a torn ACL.
In 2010-11, Griffin worked with the Indiana Pacers as a video coordinator. In addition to his video responsibilities, he participated in team practices and pregame warmups and did statistical analysis to help the coaching staff prepare scouting reports.
After playing his final pro season in Italy in 2011-12, Griffin was hired as the director of basketball operations at Rider University in June 2012. He was promoted to assistant coach in 2013 and had been in that position for the last two seasons before returning to Bucknell. This past season, the Broncs finished 21-12 overall, 15-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and played in the CBI postseason tournament.
“John was a great player at Bucknell and is obviously familiar with what it takes to excel as a student-athlete here,” said Davis. “Above all else, he just has a passion for the game of basketball. When he was at Bucknell he was a captain and a leader, and he is the son of a coach. He was part of some of the greatest victories Bucknell has ever had, and now he wants to pass along his knowledge and experience to the guys in the program now. He did a great job at Rider and will be a valuable addition to our staff.”
Griffin is married to the former Brianna Gauthier, a former women’s basketball student-athlete at Mount St. Mary’s and assistant coach for the Manhattan women’s basketball team. The Griffins live in Lewisburg with their infant son, John Joseph Griffin IV.