Cougars’ Byington headed to Va. Tech

College of Charleston’s Mark Byington accepted an assistant position at Virginia Tech.

Mark Byington, who served as the College of Charleston men’s interim head basketball coach for the Cougars’ final 11 games, is joining new Virginia Tech coach James Johnson’s staff.

Byington said in a text message Wednesday afternoon that he could not “make a comment at this time” about a Virginia television station’s report that he and former VMI player Ramon Williams were joining the Virginia Tech staff.

WDBJ of Roanoke, Va., said the “hires are pending the proper HR paperwork.” The television station also reported that Navy associate head coach Kurt Kanaskie was expected to be hired by the Hokies. Virginia Tech has not released any information on Johnson’s hires.

Byington interviewed with the school last week. Byington and Johnson once shared an office at the College of Charleston when they were assistant coaches under former coach Tom Herrion.

Johnson spent the past five years on Seth Greenberg’s staff at Virginia Tech, then left for a similar spot at Clemson. Greenberg was fired shortly after Johnson and several other staff members resigned, and the school re-hired Johnson.

Byington, 38, was one of the finalists to replace Bobby Cremins at the College of Charleston when Cremins officially announced his retirement on March 19, but the school hired former Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik. Wojcik, who retained Byington and Andrew Wilson from Cremins’ staff, has not announced any assistant coaching hires.

Cremins stepped down on Jan. 27 to take a medical leave of absence, citing exhaustion, and Byington was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, going 7-4 with a first-round loss in the Southern Conference tournament.

Byington spent nine seasons at the College of Charleston, the last six as Cremins’ associate head coach. Byington grew up in Salem, Va., less than an hour from the Virginia Tech campus. He played college basketball for UNC Wilmington and later worked on Pete Gillen’s staff at Virginia and also coached at Hargrave Military Academy.