Earl Grant hired as CofC's new basketball coach - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Earl Grant hired as CofC's new basketball coach

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell announced on the school's website Tuesday evening that the school had hired Earl Grant as the new basketball coach. 

"I am pleased to announce that Earl Grant has accepted the position as the new men's head basketball coach at the College of Charleston. He comes to Charleston after spending five successful years as an assistant coach at Clemson University," McConnell said in a release on the school's website. 

After months of investigations and a bumbling coaching search, it appears the College of Charleston finally has a new head coach. Sources said last week the school was ironing out details Clemson's Grant will take the lead chair on the sidelines for the Cougars.

Grant was quiet about any possible deal at the time, however. "If I hear I will let you know," he said in a text message to ABC Sports 4's Scott Eisberg Monday afternoon.

A Stall High graduate, Grant hails from Charleston and coached at The Citadel and under Greg Marshall before joining Brad Brownell's staff in Clemson.

"First and foremost Earl is a very impressive leader and a teacher. His positive attitude, strong work ethic and vivacious personality will have a lasting impact on our players, students, alumni and the entire college community. I am positive that his vast energy and desire for excellence will propel the College of Charleston basketball program to new heights," McConnell said.

Another name being tossed around as a possible candidate was Bobby Lutz, the current assistant at North Carolina State. He spent more than a decade as head coach of the 49ers program in Charlotte.

It looked as though the coaching debacle was finally coming to a close last week when the search committee submitted a pair of names to president Glenn McConnell, including former CofC standout and pro baller Anthony Johnson.

Then Johnson backed out due to a 2011 domestic incident with his wife at their Atlanta home.

The College has been searching for a coaching solution for most of the summer after investigating former head coach Doug Wojcik for alleged verbal abuse against players and staffers. He had apparently reached a deal with former CofC president George Benson to sit out the month of August, but it appears a new presidential regime pulled the plug on that deal and canceled Wojcik's contract.

Wojcik stood to make $1.2 million, the remainder on his contract, for it being canceled if the College did not show cause. Wojcik and his attorney said they would seek a pay-out, but it is unclear if that has gone forward.

Official in-season practices for the Cougars are set to begin in little more than a month.

A press conference has been scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Friday. Sports officials at the school said no players, coaches or administrators will be available before Friday to talk about the hire. 

Former head coach Bobby Cremins was among the first to issue a statement congratulating Grant. 

“I am really happy for Earl (Grant) and I like him very much. He has worked under some great coaches. I know it's a dream come true for him to be back home in Charleston. I hope the players will give him everything they have. I wish him and the College of Charleston much success," Cremins said.

“I have known Earl Grant for 14 years dating back to when he worked our basketball camps at The College. I am delighted that we have chosen a rising star in the basketball world. Earl will bring a very positive, energetic and genuine style to our basketball program. Earl has been a very proven and polished assistant coach having worked for two of the best and most successful coaches in the profession in Gregg Marshall and Brad Brownell," said legendary CofC coach John Kresse. 

     

Here's McConnell's full statement: 

A new era in Cougar basketball is about to begin.

I am pleased to announce that Earl Grant has accepted the position as the new men's head basketball coach at the College of Charleston. He comes to Charleston after spending five successful years as an assistant coach at Clemson University.

Earl stood out from our list of outstanding, highly qualified candidates. As we vetted the potential applicants, the pool boiled down to just a few excellent coaches, anyone of whom would do an outstanding job. But Earl has features that place him at the top of the list.

First and foremost Earl is a very impressive leader and a teacher. His positive attitude, strong work ethic and vivacious personality will have a lasting impact on our players, students, alumni and the entire college community. I am positive that his vast energy and desire for excellence will propel the College of Charleston basketball program to new heights.

He is well known for his many years as an exceptional recruiter, both in evaluating talent and developing relationships. His integrity will help us recruit elite student-athletes who will win championships and make us proud both on and off of the court. He can bring us instant success in the upcoming recruiting season and have an immediate positive impact that will pay dividends for years.

Best of all, this is a homecoming for Earl. Not only is he a North Charleston native who played basketball at Stall High School, but his wife, Jacci, is an alumnus of the College of Charleston. His basketball ties also link back to the Lowcountry. He spent six years working with Coach Gregg Marshall, who is one of the protégés of our legendary coach John Kresse. Earl also spent two years as an assistant at The Citadel.

I believe the College of Charleston has a boundless opportunity with Coach Earl Grant, and I am confident he will help launch a new beginning full of excellence, teamwork and success. Earl inherits a team that has bonded together during the past months and has shown character, fortitude and leadership. I am very proud of how this team has stood up to adversity.

Lastly, I would like to thank the search committee for their hard work and dedication during this period. Their sacrifice helped the College to find the right person for this job.

I invite the entire College of Charleston community to join me in welcoming Earl, Jacci and their three sons to the College of Charleston family.

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