Sand Sharks begin process to hire basketball coaches, programs to launch in ‘23

Sand Sharks begin process to hire basketball coaches, programs to launch in ‘23

When USCB announced its move to the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference, it was a foregone conclusion that the addition of men’s and women’s basketball programs was soon to follow.

The wait was a short one. 

During the Sand Sharks’ introductory press conference into the Peach Belt last week, athletics director Quin Monahan confirmed the school’s plans to add basketball programs for the 2023-24 season with a head coach search for both teams starting immediately. The live postings for head men’s and women’s basketball coaches close on Aug. 5, and Monahan hopes to move quickly to put coaches in place and allow them to begin building their programs and recruiting over the coming year.

“They will have an entire year to develop that program,” Monahan said. “They can recruit, they’ll be hiring assistant coaches, and they’ll be out in the community fundraising. Starting in 2023, we’ll be competing with the Peach Belt.” 

Monahan also hinted at the plans for a home for Sand Shark basketball. The current recreation center will be renovated to be the temporary home for both teams with the addition of additional locker rooms, seating for roughly 500-1,000 fans, and more offices and storage. The facility already includes an athletic training room, two locker rooms, weight room, athletics staff offices, two basketball courts and Finnegan’s snack and smoothie bar. 

While the renovated recreation center will be the temporary home for both teams, USCB has long had plans to build a Convocation Center on campus that will be a multi-use facility. Chancellor Dr. Al Panu said during the press conference that USCB is awaiting approval of funding from the state and local levels to bring the vision to reality. The Convocation Center is likely to be modeled after a similar facility at new Peach Belt rival USC Aiken and is tentatively planned to be the home for USCB basketball, academic classrooms, academic labs, athletics offices and much more. 

“About four years ago, we made a request for funding for a Convocation Center to meet both our athletic and academic needs,” Panu said. “We have made really good progress. This fall, we will start some of the design work.”

It is a vision that has been a long time coming, but the day for college basketball in Beaufort County is nearly upon us.

To view the full introductory press conference, click HERE.

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