CCU Announces Men's Basketball Head Coach Finalists
CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina University has announced its five finalists to be brought in for interviews for its head men's basketball coach position, CCU Athletics Director Warren Koegel announced today. The finalists are current CCU Assistant Coach Jamie Kachmarik, USC Upstate Head Coach Eddie Payne, University of Florida Assistant Coach Lewis Preston, Former Alabama Head Coach David Hobbs and Former Clemson & Auburn Head Coach Cliff Ellis. The candidates will be brought on campus for interviews next week.
We are very pleased to have these five candidates as finalists for the position of head mens basketball coach at Coastal Carolina University, Koegel said. The interest in this position throughout the coaching basketball community was extensive and had many outstanding candidates and all were attracted in the future of Coastal Carolina University basketball and Coastal Carolina University Athletics. We are excited for our players, University and community and look forward to completing the interview process.
Kachmarik has spent the last four years as an assistant coach at Coastal, where he has recruited one Big South Player of the Year, two Big South Freshman of the Year and two Big South All-Freshman selections. He also has recruited, during his time at William & Mary, a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) First Team player, one First Team Academic All-American and two All-CAA Rookie Team members. Kachmarik spent three years as an assistant basketball coach at William and Mary, where helped recruit two top-100 classes by The Hoop Scoop. Kachmarik started his coaching career at Ohio State, serving as the video coordinator for Jim OBriens squad that won the Big Ten title and went to the 1999 Final Four.
Payne has spent the last five seasons as the head coach of the USC Upstate mens basketball team and has compiled a 350-287 record in 22 years of coaching. He led the Spartans to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and earned 2005 Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors and South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year. Prior to that, he served as the head mens basketball coach and assistant athletic director at Greensboro College for two years. Prior to that he was the head coach at Oregon State from 1995-2000, recording impressive victories over UCLA, Stanford, and Arizona in the 1998-99 season. Before his stint at Oregon State, he was the head coach at East Carolina from 1991-95. He began his head coaching career in the NCAA at Belmont Abbey from 1981-86. A 1973 graduate of Wake Forest who earned the mens basketballs MVP award as a senior, he also was an associate head coach at South Carolina from 1986-91 and an assistant at Clemson from 1975-78. He also served as assistant coach at East Carolina from 1979-81.
Preston has spent the past year at the University of Florida, helping the Gators win their second consecutive National Championship. A 1993 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Preston had spent the six years prior to Florida at Notre Dame under Mike Brey, helping the Irish to a 118-70 (.628) mark, three NCAA Tournament appearances, three NIT appearances and a Sweet 16 berth in 2003. He is also familiar with Coastal Carolina, having spent the 1998-2000 as an assistant under Pete Strickland. He also spent four years playing professionally in Europe after graduating VMI as a two-time All-Southern Conference selection, a member of the schools 1,000-Point Club and a school-record holder in four categories.
Hobbs has spent the last seven years at Kentucky, serving as the Associate Head Coach the last four seasons, helping the Wildcats to seven straight NCAA appearances, including a pair of Elite 8 berths. Prior to that, Hobbs served as the head coach at Alabama from 1992-98, compiling a 110-76 record, including the 1994 and 1995 NCAA Tournaments and 1993 and 1996 NIT. Prior to that, he served as an assistant under legendary Crimson Tide coach Wimp Sanderson from 1985-92. He also was an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth for six years, helping the Rams to a 132-48 record, three Sun Belt titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances. Hobbs is a 1971 graduate of VCU, where he lettered in basketball in 1970 and 1971 while earning his education degree.
Ellis has spent 30 years as a college basketball head coach at Cumberland, South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn, amassing 534 career victories that rank him 29th on the all-time Division I career wins chart. The National Coach of the Year in 1999 at Auburn, he took his teams to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including leading his 1989-90 Clemson and 1998-99 and 2002-03 Auburn squads to the Sweet 16. He also took his teams to 12 NIT appearances and captured five conference titles in his career, including taking Clemson to its only Atlantic Coast Conference title in the 1989-90 season.