Bobby Cremins, Charlestonian
For most folks, the older they get, the older they feel. And many aging South Carolinians abruptly felt older still Monday when Bobby Cremins announced his retirement from coaching.
That's because his first winning impression on lots of us came more than four decades ago when, as a spunky guard from the Bronx, he helped Frank McGuire's South Carolina Gamecocks emerge as a national basketball power.
Yet it's also because Mr. Cremins, during the last six seasons as College of Charleston coach, retained a boyish look, manner and charm that belie his 64 years. His decision to leave the bench for good, though, wasn't really a surprise. After all, he took a medical leave of absence nearly two months ago with 10 regular season games left, citing "exhaustion."
Thus ends a remarkable coaching career that produced a sterling 579-374 overall record, including a 125-67 mark at the College of Charleston, where he recorded four 20-win seasons and came agonizingly close to NCAA bids by falling short in three Southern Conference tournament finals. Mr. Cremins also was a winner at Appalachian State from 1975-81 before attaining his highest national fame during an outstanding, two-decade tenure at Georgia Tech, leading the Yellow Jackets to three Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and a Final Four.
But he didn't just excel in Columbia as a player and in Boone, Atlanta and Charleston as a coach.
Mr. Cremins has thrived here as a converted Charlestonian. While stepping down Monday, he hailed this "incredible city and the wonderful people who live here." He plans to stay, working for the College as a goodwill ambassador and fundraiser.
Bobby and his wife Carolyn clearly like it here.
And the feeling is mutual.