USC Upstate has fired men's basketball head coach Kyle Perry after just one season.
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Both Perry and athletics director Julio Friere, the latter of whom was reportedly the subject of multiple complaints from within the athletics department.
"A source close to the University says Friere’s dismissal comes on the heels of complaints from multiple coaches in the athletic department regarding harassment and a hostile work environment," reported Brianna Smith of WPSA-TV. "The University responded to this report telling 7News they have received 3 such complaints, which were turned over to an Equal Opportunity Program in Columbia for inquiry and investigation."
Perry went 7-25 this season, his first after taking over for longtime coach Eddie Payne, who abruptly resigned in October after 15 seasons. Perry, a former assistant at South Carolina State and director of basketball operations at Charleston, was previously a Spartans' assistant for eight seasons.
With Perry done, who might USC Upstate hire to replace him? Here are a few potential candidates.
Current Position: Assistant Coach – Clemson
Steve Smith should be Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on USC Upstate's priority list.
Smith makes so much sense that I considered stopping the candidate list after him. He's a sixth-year Clemson assistant who spent the previous three years at Georgia Southern. Before that, the native of Varnville, S.C., was on Eddie Payne's Upstate staff from 2002-09, during which the Spartans transitioned to Division I.
Current Position: Associate Head Coach – UNC Asheville
The fifth-year UNC Asheville assistant is the Bulldogs' backcourt coach and primary recruiter and has been a part of three straight 20-win teams. Dixon also played in the Big South (Presbyterian) before his coaching career.
Current Position: Associate Head Coach – Wofford
USC Upstate could save a lot of time and money on a coaching search by driving four miles down the road to Wofford, where Jay McAuley is the Terriers' first-year associate head coach.
McAuley knows South Carolina basketball. His second stint at Wofford sandwiches a four-year run at Furman. He's a Marietta, Ga., native who played at Georgia and was also at nearby Gardner-Webb, where he coached under Chris Holtmann. McAuley also coached under current Drake head coach and rising star Niko Medved at Furman.