Driesell to be named new Bulldogs coach

New Citadel coach Chuck Driesell (left), son of famed college coach Lefty Driesell (right), has spent the last four years as an assistant coach at Maryland.

The Citadel's next basketball coach, Chuck Driesell, was almost a Citadel basketball player.

Back in 1981, when Driesell was coming out of high school, former Bulldogs coach Les Robinson tried to recruit him to The Citadel.

"But his dad called me up," Robinson recalled, "and said he had not been able to spend a lot of time with Chuck while he was growing up. And that if Chuck played for him, they could spend the next four years together."

And that's how Chuck Driesell ended up playing for his father, famed coach Lefty Driesell, at Maryland.

Almost 30 years later, the younger Driesell is at last bound for The Citadel, this time as the successor to Ed Conroy, who left his alma mater three weeks ago for Tulane.

Chuck Driesell, 46 and for the last four years an assistant at Maryland, will be named the Bulldogs' new coach at a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. today at McAlister Field House, according to a Citadel source.

The Citadel will be Driesell's first head-coaching job on the Division I level, but he has been a head coach before, and has experience both in the military and at a military school.

Driesell was the head coach at Division III Marymount in Arlington, Va., from 1997-2003, compiling a record of 88-72 in six seasons. He served in the Navy for three years, and began his coaching career with four years at the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School.

He also worked for his father at James Madison, and worked at Georgetown and as a high school head coach before Gary Williams hired him as an assistant at Maryland in 2006.

"(Driesell) is a relentless worker," Williams told The Washington Post on Monday. "In other words, he'll put in the time necessary to recruit to The Citadel, to get those guys playing as well as he can.

"If you want to be a successful head coach, you just have to commit to whatever the work involved in that particular job (is) to get it done.

"I think Chuck is a hard worker, and he can do that."

At The Citadel, Driesell inherits a core of rising seniors that have led the Bulldogs to 36 wins the last two seasons, the most successful two-year period in school history.

All-Southern Conference guard Cameron Wells and starters Austin Dahn, Zach Urbanus and Bryan Streeter return, though freshman standout Harrison DuPont and reserve guard Cosmo Morabbi are at least exploring the possibility of transferring.

"You have a chance to coach guys who are hungry to play, and The Citadel has had good teams over the years," Williams said. "There's some potential there to develop a really good basketball team, so I'm sure Chuck is excited about that, the opportunity."

According to sources, Driesell was one of three finalists for the job, along with VMI coach Duggar Baucom and John Krikorian, head coach at Merchant Marine Academy.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at jhartsell@postandcourier.com.