The hunt for a new basketball coach at the College of Charleston took a surprising turn Wednesday as the school's search committee considered the return of former coach Bobby Cremins, The Post and Courier learned.
The proposal under consideration would bring Cremins, 67, back as head coach with former Cougars guard Anthony Johnson joining him as an assistant coach, or "coach in waiting," for the upcoming season, which is set to open Nov. 15 at Furman.
Under this scenario, Johnson would then take over the program for the 2015-16 season, a source within the school's athletic department confirmed.
When reached by phone late Wednesday afternoon, Cremins declined to comment.
"Be glad to talk once they make a decision," Cremins said in a text message Wednesday night.
A few influential members of the College's eight-person search committee, which met for an hour Wednesday, were hesitant to hire Johnson outright because he has no coaching experience, according to the source.
However, several of the committee members were ready to recommend Johnson to school president Glenn McConnell.
The College of Charleston fired head coach Doug Wojcik on Aug. 5 for "just cause" after two independent investigations uncovered allegations of verbal and physical abuse of players and athletic department staff members.
The College's search committee interviewed six candidates for the job - Johnson, Clemson assistant coach Earl Grant, Wofford head coach Mike Young, University of Connecticut assistant coach Karl Hobbs, former UNC Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz and Virginia assistant coach Ritchie McKay.
Johnson, who interviewed for the position in 2012 just before Wojcik was hired, was the first player from the College of Charleston to be selected in the NBA draft when Sacramento picked the former Stall High star in the second round in 1997. Johnson helped lead the Cougars to one NCAA appearance (1997) and two NIT bids (1995, 1996) during his career. Johnson played 13 seasons in the NBA.
Cremins coached the Cougars from 2006-12, but took a medical leave of absence in January of 2012 and retired following the season. In six seasons at the College, Cremins compiled a 125-68 mark with three postseason appearances.