Cremins decision may come next week
The muddled men's basketball coaching situation at the College of Charleston should clear up sometime next week, Bobby Cremins said Monday.
Cremins, who has been on a medical leave of absence for exhaustion since Jan. 27, has been working at the school daily since last Wednesday, but said he has not yet made a decision as to whether or not he will return.
"My health is coming back. I don't have all my strength back, but mentally I'm fine," Cremins said. "I'm trying to take my time."
Cremins said school president Dr. George Benson and athletics director Joe Hull have been supportive throughout the process, as have the players and fans.
"Whatever decision I make not only has to be good for Bobby Cremins, it has to be great for the College of Charleston," he said
Mark Byington took over as interim head coach and finished out the year 7-4 for an overall record of 19-12.
Byington said he and the rest of the staff have tried to take a "business as usual" approach until Cremins makes his decision. They have been on the road recruiting, trying to add one more player for next season.
"We feel like we're very close to having a good team next year. We're trying to fill all the pieces," said Byington, adding that recruits will be coming in over the next couple of weeks for visits.
"We're approaching everything as if we're all going to be here next year. It's the best thing we can do for this program."
Hull said he, like all athletic directors, has a list of potential coaching candidates, but he has not talked to anyone about the job.
"Until Bobby tells me he's not coming back, he's it," Hull said. "Mark did a very, very good job during that interim. If Bobby doesn't come back, Mark will be a great candidate for the job.
"We're committed to men's basketball at the College of Charleston. We want to be great at men's basketball. I'd love for it to be with Bobby.
"If not, then we're going to try to have the very best candidate we can and keep going forward. If not Bobby, Mark will have a great shot at that."
Hull said it has been great to see Cremins back in TD Arena.
"One of the things he needed was time to heal, to feel better, and he has. He's doing substantially better than he was six weeks ago," Hull said.
Hull said he understands that people inside and outside of the program want to know who will be coaching the team next season.
But he said that decision could not be made until Cremins had gotten better.
"It's been clear from the beginning that if Bobby can come back and feel great, be 100 percent, that we want Bobby to come back.
"He's been great for the program. If he can't do it, then he can't do it, and we'll adjust and move on to the next step," Hull said.
Women's coaching search underway
While the men's basketball coaching situation has garnered most of the attention, Hull also has been busy looking for a replacement for longtime coach Nancy Wilson, who announced prior to the beginning of the season that she was stepping down after a 30-year coaching career, including 17 at the College of Charleston. Wilson's career record was 542-363, with a 311-216 mark with the Cougars.
Hull said he anticipates interviewing three to five candidates.
None of the current staff members have applied for the position.