College of Charleston first-year head coach Earl Grant completed his coaching staff on Thursday, as the school announced the hiring Quinton Ferrell as an assistant coach.
“Quinton Ferrell is a young coach I have watched grow over the years,” Grant said in a statement. “He has a great future in our profession, because of his ability to connect. His work ethic, sincerity and his ability to develop relationships will allow him to recruit great players to Charleston. Quinton is very familiar with the state of South Carolina which will allow us to keep talent in the state.”
Ferrell, a 2007 graduate of Presbyterian, was with Army last season as an assistant coach. His coaching career began in the 2007-2008 season with his alma mater, as the Blue Hose made the transition into Division I basketball. Bridging those two stints at Presbyterian and Army was a one-year stay at The Citadel in 2012-2013. Grant hired longtime Citadel assistant J.P. Powell as the CofC’s director of basketball operations on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Grant hired his first assistant, Dick Bender, who he spent four years with a Clemson. Grant is retaining assistant coach Antonio Reynolds Dean from the previous staff. For a portion of the summer, Reynolds Dean served as the acting head coach while the school suspended Doug Wojcik for the month of August before eventually relieving him of his head coaching duties.
Now that Grant has his staff in place, his focus will be on the start of the college basketball season, which is a week away. Due to the events of this summer, the Cougars go in with less preparation as a program. CofC brings back three of its top four scorers, though, only one of those returnees scored in double figures, in what was a struggling offense in 2013-2014. But the Colonial Athletic Association has an uncertain outlook. Delaware, Towson and Drexel have all lost key pieces while William & Mary has the top returning scorer in Marcus Thornton and Northeastern and Hofstra have the foundations to make a jump into the top half of the conference.
College of Charleston opens its season on Nov. 14 at Furman.
College of Charleston head coach Earl Grant has brought a familiar face with him to his new job as the school today announced the hiring of Dick Bender as an assistant coach.
Bender was a director of operations for Clemson the last four seasons under Brad Brownell and follows Grant from the ACC.
The release says that Bender will work primarily with the wings on the College of Charleston roster.
“Dick Bender is the consummate professional,” Grant said in the release. “His organization and attention to detail is second-to-none. He has a great basketball mind and has experience in the Big South, Missouri Valley, Conference USA and ACC. He will do a great job of developing and mentoring our young players.”
Grant is also retaining former assistant coach Antonio Reynolds Dean and The Citadel assistant coach J.D. Powell is also expected to join the staff, a source told NBCSports.com.
The Cougars finished 14-18 last season and should play with more freedom after having to deal with the fallout of the Doug Wojcik harassment scandal.
Bender also has experience as an assistant coach with DePauw, Radford, Indiana State and Tulane.
The College of Charleston and former head coach Doug Wojcik reached a settlement on Tuesday afternoon, according to Wojcik’s attorney, Ronald L. Richter Jr.
Wojcik was fired for just cause on Aug. 5 after two seasons as former players had accused him of verbal abuse. Those allegations went public in July with a 50-page report documenting their claims.
“After a full review of the facts relating to the allegation of physical abuse made by a player, the College made no finding of physical abuse, but concluded physical contact occurred that was offensive to the player,” a statement from Richter read, according to Andrew Miller of the Post and Courier.
A second investigation was conducted later on July 23 after Trevonte Dixon, who played for Wojcik during the 2012-2013 season, said he was involved in a physical confrontation with Wojcik during a game against Elon on Dec. 1, 2012. College of Charleston determined there was no evidence of physical abuse, according to the Post and Courier.
The terms of the settlement were not released.
College of Charleston coaching search came to an end last Tuesday when the school hired Clemson assistant Earl Grant. The first-year head coach had been at Clemson for four seasons, previously serving on Gregg Marshall’s staff at both Winthrop and Wichita State.
Clemson made a move to fill out its coaching staff this weekend as a source told NBCSports.com that UAB assistant coach Richie Riley is heading to the Tigers. The news of Riley’s hire was first reported by Jon Rothstein at CBS Sports.
Riley will replace former Clemson assistant coach Earl Grant, who took the head coaching position at the College of Charleston last week.
Besides his time at UAB, Riley has also spent time as an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina and Eastern Kentucky. The 31-year-old Riley has also been an assistant coach at Pikeville College, Hawaii Pacific and Georgetown College.
Riley seems to be well-liked among the basketball community and this seems like a solid hire for Brad Brownell to replace Grant.
Earl Grant was hired as the new head coach at College of Charleston this week. The move seemed to gain positive marks from many college basketball analysts, but one of the important factors in the Grant hire is how the players at the school would respond to him?
After all, these same players were found to be verbally abused by former head coach Doug Wojcik, so it was a delicate situation finding a new coach to smooth things over.
But according to a story from Andrew Miller of The Post and Courier, the players seem to like the Grant hire and he’s made an immediate positive impression on them.
“The first thing he wanted to do when he got on campus was meet with us,” sophomore guard Canyon Barry said to Miller. “I think that shows you where his head is. He let us know that he wants to build relationships with each of us, and trust is the most important thing when you’ve got a new coach and dynamic like we’ve got. I think he’s a great fit for us.”
While the players appear happy with the hire, the team was also made stronger by overcoming the issues they faced with the intense media spotlight and the removal of their former head coach.
“The bond that I have with my teammates, it’s something that I can’t express in words,” sophomore guard Joe Chealey said to Miller. “I knew regardless of what happened or who the new coach was going to be, I had to be here for the guys on this team. This is the closest team I’ve ever been on. We decided early on that we needed to come together and have each others’ backs. This has brought us closer together.”
Now that the drama appears to be finished at College of Charleston, between Wojcik’s firing and the long time it took Grant to be hired, the team can focus on basketball and the upcoming season. Watching how the team plays under Grant will be one of the intriguing early-season storylines in college basketball in 2014-15.
The College of Charleston has finally found a head coach after a lengthy search that included a number of different candidates. According to an email send from College of Charleston president Glenn McConnell, the school has hired Clemson assistant coach Earl Grant as its new men’s basketball head coach.
The 37-year-old Grant replaces former head coach Doug Wojcik, who was fired on August 5th amid allegations of physical and verbal abuse of players and athletic department staff.
Grant was a finalist for the position along with N.C. State assistant and former Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz. Last week, three candidates for the position, Anthony Johnson, Mike Young and Ritchie McKay all dropped out of the running for the job.
Grant is a native of North Charleston, South Carolina and has been an assistant at Clemson for four seasons. He is best known for recruiting K.J. McDaniels to the Tigers and Grant also spent six seasons under Gregg Marshall — three years at Winthrop and three years at Wichita State.
College of Charleston finished 14-18 and 6-10 in the CAA last season.