C of C search committee pares list of candidates

Clemson assistant basketball coach Earl Grant played at Stall High School in North Charleston. ( Photo by Rex Brown)

The eight-person search committee appointed to find a basketball coach at the College of Charleston met Monday to narrow the list of more than 40 candidates for the vacancy.

A source associated with the College of Charleston athletic department said the committee still hopes to have a candidate to recommend to school president Glenn McConnell before the start of classes, which begin Aug. 19, but that timetable could be extended.

Former head coach Doug Wojcik was fired last week for "just cause" by McConnell after allegations of verbal and physical abuse of players and athletic department staff members surfaced in two independent reports.

Former Cougar guard Anthony Johnson is considered the leading candidate for the job.

Johnson, who interviewed for the position in 2012 before Wojcik was hired, has been contacted by athletic director Joe Hull and members of the search committee.

In the next few days, the committee is expected to interview Johnson, who 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.

"I talked with Joe (Hull) and we had a very good conversation," Johnson said Monday. "I'm looking forward to meeting with the search committee and talking about the position."

Some other coaches' names that have surfaced are Clemson assistant coach Earl Grant, Wofford head coach Mike Young, former Arkansas and South Florida head coach Stan Heath, North Carolina assistant coach C.B. McGrath, Virginia assistant coach Ritchie McKay and Tulane assistant coach Shammond Williams.

Grant, who like Johnson graduated from Stall High School, said he has not been contacted by Hull or anyone on the committee. Grant has been an assistant with the Tigers for five seasons and is regarded as a top recruiter. Grant was the primary recruiter for forward K.J. McDaniels, who was an All-ACC selection this past season for the Tigers.

Grant also was an assistant coach at The Citadel and worked for Gregg Marshall at Winthrop and Wichita State. Marshall was an assistant coach at the College of Charleston under John Kresse.