Charleston hires Winthrop's Marshall as new coach

Updated: June 28, 2006, 5:31 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The College of Charleston hired Gregg Marshall as its men's basketball coach Wednesday, hoping he can help the Cougars again become a prominent mid-major program.

Marshall replaces Tom Herrion, who was let go earlier this month.

Marshall has spent the past eight seasons as the coach of Winthrop, going 163-78 and leading the Eagles to six NCAA Tournament appearances.

But the lure of returning to Charleston was too tempting for Marshall. He was an assistant with the Cougars for eight years under John Kresse.

The wildly popular Kresse, who built the program almost from scratch, won an NAIA title for the College of Charleston during the 1980s. The school later moved to NCAA Division I and made the NCAA Tournament four times during the 1990s.

Kresse stepped down in 2002.

Herrion's first team at Charleston won the Great Alaska Shootout and finished 25-8. The next season the Cougars were 20-9, followed by an 18-10 mark and a 17-11 record last season.

The 43-year-old Marshall said he was attracted to Charleston because of the commitment the school is making to its basketball program. The school breaks ground on a new 5,000-seat arena in the fall.

"The players are in place. The basketball is fairly simple," Marshall said. "It's going to be passionate. It's going to be energetic. We're going to get after people and that John Kresse Arena will again have smoke coming out of those doors."

Kresse said memberships to the school's athletic booster club are down, as are the number of basketball season-ticket holders, and the school needs help raising funds for the new athletic center.

"Gregg will immediately put people back on the bandwagon and will get newcomers," Kresse said. "He has class, charisma and charm and a proven record and he is coming back home."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press