College of Charleston men’s basketball head coach Bobby Cremins announced his retirement in a press conference held on Monday afternoon at TD Arena.
The 64-year-old coach spent six seasons with the Cougars amassing the third-most coaching victories in school history with a 125-68 (.648) record and leading them to the quarterfinals of the Postseason NIT after capturing the Southern Conference regular-season title in 2011.
Prior to his announcement, Cremins ranked 14th among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories (579) which currently stands as the 46th-most all-time in NCAA history ahead of former legendary Cougar head coach John Kresse (53rd, 560), his mentor and former coach Frank McGuire (56th, 549) and Lou Carnesecca (61st, 526).
“Being able to come back to coaching here at the College has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Cremins, who retired in 2000 after 19 years as the head coach at Georgia Tech from 1980-2000. “In 2006, after being out of coaching for six years and assuming that I would never coach again, I came here not knowing what to expect. It didn’t take my wife, Carolyn, and I long to fall in love with The College, our incredibly city and the wonderful people who live here.”
There is not a coach in the country who combined experience, development and caring as much as Cremins. He mentored 25 players who were drafted or went on to play in the NBA, coached in an NCAA Final Four and was twice named National Coach of the Year by the media and his peers.
“Our basketball success under both John Kresse and Bobby Cremins has helped to boost the exposure of the College and help it become the national institution that it is today,” CofC President P. George Benson said. “Fortunately, Bobby will continue to be a part of The College – he’ll still be on our team. Going forward, Bobby will help Joe Hull, our Institutional Advancement team, and me build relationships for the College and raise much needed funding for athletics and academics. He will continue to represent the College of Charleston.”
Over the last six years, the Cougars have made three postseason tournament appearances including last year’s memorable NIT run. CofC also made three Southern Conference championship game appearances, posted four 20-win seasons and produced the program’s first NBA Draft pick since 1997 in current Los Angeles Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock.
“In six years, short of an NCAA bid, we have accomplished everything we wanted to,” said Cremins, who significantly improved the program’s graduation rate and academic progress during his tenure. “We’ve been to the (SoCon) finals three times and I look forward to the day when we win it all.”
Off the court, Cremins has been the face of the College and active in the Charleston community speaking regularly to youth groups, clubs and other organizations. He also devoted a lot of his time to national organizations such as Coaches vs. Cancer and the Jimmy V Foundation.
“Working with Bobby these past several years has been one of the genuine privileges of my professional career,” said College of Charleston Director of Athletics Joe Hull, who says a national and thorough search will begin immediately to seek the best coach available.