Boston P. Grant, Jr., hall of fame track-and-field coach and army veteran, was born on May 3, 1924, in San Marcos, Texas, to Boston P. Grant, Sr., and Maggie Mae Grant. He spent his formative years in San Marcos with his brother, Ray, and sister, Deloria. Grant graduated from high school in San Marcos in 1939 at age fifteen.
Grant served as a medic in the United States Army during World War II. He also competed in track and field with the army. After the war, Grant attended Prairie View A&M College in Prairie View, Texas, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business education in 1950. While attending college, he met his future wife Dorothy. They married on June 30, 1951, in Dallas. The couple had four sons and one daughter—Boston P. Grant V, Charles Grant, Michael A. Grant, Reginald Grant, and Phyllis L. Grant. Later, he received a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Prairie View A&M University in 1973.
Grant began his career teaching business courses and coaching track and field at Dalworth High School in Grand Prairie, Texas. The urban high school was predominantly African-American before integrating into Grand Prairie High School in 1966. At Dalworth High School, he coached several future National Football League (NFL) stars, including NFL Hall of Fame member Charles Taylor, who played for the Washington Redskins and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. Grant’s early success at Dalworth High School included two Prairie View Interscholastic League 2A track-and-field state titles in 1965 and 1966. Grant continued his high school coaching career at several Dallas-area high schools from 1967 to 1972.
In 1972 he began his storied coaching career at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, where he led the school to state championship titles in 1981 and 1982. He coached four athletes to earn individual state championships and two 4X400 relay teams to win state titles. His track-and-field expertise earned him many accolades; he was named coach of the year sixteen times and produced seventy All-Americans. Grant retired from high school and full-time teaching in 1986. Two years later, he transitioned to the collegiate ranks and accepted a position at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1988 as the sprint coach. He left Southern Methodist University in 1990 to become the sprint coach at the University of North Texas in Denton.
Grant was recognized for his achievements by several hall of fame organizations, including the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame and the Prairie View Athletic Hall of Fame. He was honored by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and inducted into the USTFCCCA’s Hall of Fame class of 1999.
Grant was a member of the Warren Methodist Church in Dallas. He was known to mentor his student athletes and treated them as family. His son, Michael Grant, remembered, “Everywhere we went, everyone knew him. His friends called him Hawk. Most kids called him ‘Dad.’”
Grant died at age eighty-seven on May, 22, 2011, in Grand Prairie, Texas. His funeral services were held at Good Street Baptist Church, and he was buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas.