John Kresse headlines a special College of Charleston Athletics Hall of Fame induction class to be honored Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. in Silcox Gymnasium.
Kresse, who coached the men’s basketball team to the 1983 NAIA National Championship and four NCAA tournament appearances from 1979-2002, will be joined in recognition by former College of Charleston Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs and men’s golf head coach Daniel S. Dukes IV and former Executive Director of The Cougar Club Anita Condon van de Erve.
Tickets to the Hall of Fame buffet brunch and reception can be purchased for $20 in advance of the event. For more information, contact Laura Lageman at (843) 953-5467 or LagemanL@cofc.edu.
In 23 seasons with the Cougars, Kresse compiled a 560-143 record (.797) and led his team to the 1983 NAIA National Championship title. He still owns the 11th-highest winning percentage in college basketball history (all divisions), and his NCAA Division I coaching record of 258-64 (.801) ranks as the fifth-best winning percentage in Division I.
When Charleston moved to NCAA Division I status in 1989, Kresse and his players flourished, making four NCAA tournament appearances and two NIT appearances. Known as “Giant Killers,” the Cougars defeated seemingly unstoppable teams in Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia Tech, and were recognized as the most successful team to ever make the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division I.
The program achieved its highest-ever national ranking of No. 16 in 1997 and 1999 under Kresse, who earned Coach of the Year honors 10 different times in his career (NAIA, TAAC and SoCon). He is a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame (1999), NAIA Hall of Fame (2005) and South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame (2001). Kresse was also the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto — the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina to recognize lifetime achievement and/or service to the state — in 1983.
Dukes is a former student-athlete, coach and administrator at the College of Charleston. He made significant contributions to the athletics program in all phases of his career — be it resurrecting a program, fundraising, recruiting, scheduling and being a nationally-competitive coach. He lettered in golf from 1972-76 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from CofC and the University of South Carolina. After resurrecting the golf program in the mid-1980s and developing a major scholarship endowment for the sport (a first by any coach at The College), Dukes immediately etched his competitive will into his teams on the links. In 1988, the Cougars won the NAIA District 6 title and finished 12th at the national tournament. For three consecutive years, his teams were ranked in the Top 20 nationally. When The College moved to NCAA Division I status in 1991, Dukes immediately upgraded his scheduling and recruiting. The squad’s steady progress culminated in the 1994 season when CofC was ranked among the Top 50 teams in the nation for the first time.
A former College of Charleston women’s basketball player from 1966-70, Anita Condon van de Erve made a lasting impact on her alma mater through her tireless work as Executive Director of The Cougar Club from 1987-2007. Her love of sports, her passion for student-athletes and their dreams, and her desire for crowds to attend games and share in the excitement of Cougar Athletics still continues on today.