Monday April 1, 2013
STATESBORO, Ga. – Georgia Southern University Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein announced today that he has named Mark Byington head coach of the Eagle men’s basketball program.
No stranger to Georgia Southern, Byington spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Southern Conference rival College of Charleston, including seven as Bobby Cremins’ top assistant. He was named interim head coach of the Cougars for the final month of the 2011-12 season after Cremins took a leave of absence and guided the Cougars to a 7-4 mark in their final 11 contests.
“Mark has the energy, the knowledge, the experience and the work ethic to elevate our men’s basketball program to where we want it to be, which is competing for conference championships,” said Kleinlein. “He rose to the top of a pool of a quality group of candidates as we conducted an exhaustive national search. What we found throughout the process is that Mark is the best fit for Georgia Southern University.”
College of Charleston posted an overall record of 194-100 and a 108-51 mark in the SoCon during Byington’s time there. The Cougars recorded six 20-win seasons, logged three SoCon South Division regular-season titles, advanced to the league’s tournament championship game three times and made two appearances in the NIT. Byington spent the 2012-13 campaign as an assistant under James Johnson at Virginia Tech.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named the men’s basketball coach at Georgia Southern University,” said Byington. “I am very excited for the opportunity to move this program forward and compete for championships next year in the Southern Conference and for many years to come in the Sun Belt.”
A 1998 graduate of UNC Wilmington, Byington earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and was a three-year starter on the men’s basketball team, earning second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-CAA Defensive Team honors his senior year. A two-time CAA All-Academic selection, he scored more than 1,000 points during his career.