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April 9, 2002

Associated Press Writer

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Virginia assistant coach Tom Herrion was hiredTuesday as the basketball coach at the College of Charleston, joining aschool where the arena is named for his predecessor.

John Kresse coached at the school for 23 years and retired last monthaftertransforming the Cougars from an NAIA team to a successful Division Iprogram. He went 560-143 with Charleston, including four appearances intheNCAA tournament and four trips to the NIT.

“The past is storied, it is legendary,” said the 34-year-old Herrion,whoworked for 13 years as an assistant at Merrimack College, then atProvidenceand Virginia under Pete Gillen.

As an assistant, Herrion’s teams have gone to the NCAA tournament fourtimesand the NIT four times.

“Some people in the profession would question why you would want tofollowin the footsteps of a person of great success and integrity like CoachKresse,” Herrion said.

“If I felt the ceiling or the potential of the program had been maxedout, Iwouldn’t stand here,” he said. “I think the future is extremely bright.Ithink the ceiling is limitless in our pursuit of excellence.”

College of Charleston president Lee Higdon called Herrion “one of thebestrecruiters in the business.” He said Herrion was the only candidateofferedthe job.

Herrion promised the Cougars would play up-tempo ball and said hisfirstgoal is winning next year’s Southern Conference tournamentchampionship,with its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Higdon said the college will decide by the fall about the future of itsarena. The college is considering two options – renovating its existing3,500-seat campus arena or building a 6,000-seat building near thecampus.

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