Most Xavier athletes value the experiences they have while in school, and some choose to share those experiences with the next generation of student athletes. The Gold Nuggets basketball coaching staff now includes two of the program’s best players, Paige Gauthier and Jasmine Grant. Gauthier, a native of Lake Charles, La., played for the Gold Nuggets from 2010-14 and graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She was also a part of the track and field team. Grant, who is from Shreveport, La., played for the Gold Nuggets from 2008-12 and graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.Since graduation, Gauthier has been an assistant coach of women’s basketball at Riverdale High School. Grant is an accountant for the Jefferson Parish School Board, as well as a non-profit organization. Grant said that being a Xavier athlete has impacted her life in numerous ways.
“I learned a lot being a student athlete, not just about sports, but life in general, and it has played a big part in where I am today,” Grant said. “It played a huge part while on job interviews, and also in my work ethic and my ability to be a team player.”Gauthier said that being a Xavier athlete helped her prepare for life after college.
“It has blessed me with lifelong sisters and prepared me for reality,” Gauthier said. “Life is unexpected and things won’t always go your way, so one has to be able to persevere and be resilient, and that is something that being an athlete at Xavier has taught me.”The sacrifice and selflessness teammates develop stays with them after graduating, Gauthier explained. Much of what she and Grant learned came from head coach Bo Browder and assistant coach Darrilyn Broussard, which is why the former players returned as volunteer assistant coaches. “Blood, sweat, and tears are shed and when you put that much of yourself into something, you never stop caring. So as a former player and now coach, this program, its tradition, and its legacy really mean a lot to me,” Gauthier said.
Grant helped the Gold Nuggets win two Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championships in 2010 and 2012, and three GCAC tournament titles as a student in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Gauthier helped the Gold Nuggets win two GCAC regular-season championships in 2012 and 2013, and three GCAC tournaments 2011, 2012, and 2014. As seniors, Gauthier and Grant helped Xavier advance to the final 16 of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I National Championship, according to Ed Cassiere, Xavier University’s sports information director. Gauthier averaged 5.5 points in 128 games. She is one of three Gold Nuggets to make over 700 points, 400 rebounds, 250 assists and 200 steals over the course of her collegiate career. Grant is the 21st Gold Nugget to make 952 career points and is second with 203 made 3-pointers, according to Cassiere.
As assistants, Gauthier and Grant are helping players with their strength and conditioning in the weight room, skills and development training, and are also helping with recruiting.