Legendary College of Charleston Head Coach John Kresse, who led the Cougars to a NAIA Championship title and four NCAA Tournament appearances, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Lapchick Character Award.
Kresse and Naismith Hall of Famer Clarence “Big House” Gaines, who won 828 games in 47 years at Winston-Salem State, are the seventh annual winners of the award which is named after the Naismith Hall of Fame coach and is presented by a group that includes Joe Lapchick biographer and former player, Gus Alfieri. The award recognizes those who have shown the character traits of Lapchick, who coached at St. John’s (N.Y.) University and with the New York Knicks.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award named for my college basketball coach, Joe Lapchick, who taught and inspired me,” Kresse said. “Coach Lapchick was a pioneer in basketball touring all over the country as a player for the Original Celtics. He coached both St. John’s and the New York Knicks and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. Being included with previous recipients of this award like Dean Smith, Pat Summitt, Lou Carnesecca and John Thompson, makes it extra special.”