Georgia Southern staff named

Georgia Southern Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Byington Byington announced the addition Randy Peele, Larry Dixon and Andrew Wilson as assistant coaches and the hiring of Jason Slay as director of basketball operations today.

Randy Peele – Assistant Coach

With nine years of experience as a Division I Head Coach, Randy Peele will be an asset for the Georgia Southern Coaching Staff. Peele served four seasons at UNCG between 1995 and 1999, taking the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament in his first season with a 20-win season. He also spent five seasons at Winthrop, serving between 2007 and 2012, taking the Eagles to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.

“I am very fortunate to have Randy Peele on my coaching staff,” said Head Coach Mark Byington. “He has had a lot of success throughout his career including three trips to the NCAA Tournament as a head coach. He excels in coaching the fundamentals, recruiting and skill development, so I will lean on his knowledge and experience as we build our program.”

Peele has 28 combined years of collegiate coaching experience with stops as an assistant coach at Saint Michael’s, Tennessee-Martin, Campbell, UNCG, Winthrop and Virginia Tech. After four seasons as an assistant at UNCG, Peele was picked to succeed Mike Dement as Head Coach of the Spartans. In his first season, 1995-96, Peele went 20-10 to win the Big South Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships. He coached three more seasons with the Spartans, including the team’s first campaign as a member of the Southern Conference before leaving for Virginia Tech.

After three seasons with the Hokies, Peele returned to the Big South and joined the staff at Winthrop. He served four seasons as an assistant under Gregg Marshall. When Marshall left for a position at Wichita State, Peele was promoted to lead the Eagles and won the Big South Regular Season and Tournament Championship during the 2007-08 season. Winthrop also won the league’s tournament in 2009-10 for his third appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Peele is a 1980 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan where he earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history. He is married to the former Debra Carter and they have three children, Aaron, Brad, and Blair.

Larry Dixon – Assistant Coach

With 10 years’ experience as a collegiate assistant coach, Larry Dixon joins the Eagles for the 2013-14 campaign as an assistant coach. A 1996 graduate of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC, Dixon served as an assistant coach at East Carolina University for the two years prior to joining Randy Peele’s staff at Winthrop where he coached for five seasons. While with the Winthrop Eagles, Dixon was named the Top Assistant Coach in the Big South by Fox Sports.

He also served as an assistant coach at South Carolina State for two years (2003-2005) and for one year at St. Andrews College (2002-03). After leaving Winthrop following the 2011-12 season, Dixon worked last season as the Boy’s Basketball Head Coach at York Comprehensive High School in York, S.C.

"I have known Larry Dixon for many years and have always had great respect for his work ethic, his enthusiasm, and his determination to help the team succeed,” said Byington. “When Larry was at Winthrop, I was involved in a lot of recruiting battles with him and have seen first-hand how good he is at recruiting. He will be great for developing our players and helping them maximize their potential.”

A native of Salisbury, N.C., Dixon has spent the majority of his coaching career in North Carolina. Prior to his stint at St. Andrews, Dixon served as the head coach at Garinger High School in Charlotte for three seasons. During his tenure, Dixon led Garinger to a sectional championship in 2001 and earned Charlotte Observer Coach of the Year honors. A 1996 graduate of Johnson C. Smith, he also spent two years as assistant coach at Carver High School in Winston-Salem and South Rowan High School in Salisbury.

Dixon was a standout at North Rowan High school and earned a scholarship to Johnson C. Smith. During his playing days at Johnson C. Smith, Dixon was a four-year letterman and was named the team’s Most Improved Player following his junior season. He was also named Johnson C. Smith’s top defensive player at the end of his senior season. He helped the the Golden Bulls to a pair of CIAA Southern Division titles and a championship game appearance as a sophomore.

Dixon is the father of two children, Devin (16) and Leah (9).

Andrew Wilson – Assistant Coach

A former assistant at Binghamton and College of Charleston, Andrew Wilson brings with him an extensive knowledge of the Southern Conference.

Wilson, who played collegiately at Florida State, spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Charleston under head coach Bobby Cremins before moving to Binghamton last season. While at Charleston, Wilson coached with new Eagle head coach Mark Byington and helped lead the Cougars to an average of 22 wins a season and three postseason tournament appearances in six years.

“Andrew, like the rest of the staff is very good in all areas of coaching,” said Byington. “Working with him for six years at Charleston, I know that Georgia Southern will benefit greatly from his ability to recruit, coach, and help our student-athletes in all areas of their life. He played basketball at the highest level during his career at Florida State, so he will easily relate to our players, and I believe he has a great career ahead of him in coaching.”

At Charleston, Wilson gained a reputation for his recruiting, opponent scouting and steadfast determination. During his time on Cremins’ staff, the Cougars advanced to the Southern Conference title game three times, produced four 20-win seasons, a regular season title in 2011 and the program’s first NBA Draft pick in 14 years in current Los Angeles Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock.

A native of Kennesaw, Georgia, Wilson played parts of six seasons at Florida State (2001-06), where he showed his mettle by rehabilitating from two devastating injuries to become the first player in the ACC to play in six different seasons. After enduring two medical hardships, Wilson became the school’s all-time leader in games played (129). As a senior co-captain in 2005-06, he averaged a career-high 6.3 points per game and helped the Seminoles advance to the second round of the NIT.

A 2000 graduate of Harrison High School in the metro Atlanta area, Wilson was a two-time first team all-state honoree and is the school’s all-time scoring leader with 1,215 career points. As a senior, he averaged more than 18 points per game, hit 47 percent from three-point range and shot 86 percent from the line to lift the Hoyas to a 22-5 season that culminated in a state playoff berth.

Jason Slay – Director of Basketball Operations

Jason Slay joins the Eagles after coaching last season at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as an assistant at West Virginia State after playing his four-year career with the Yellow Jackets for Head Coach Bryan Poore.

“I had a chance to build a great relationship with Jason this past year while recruiting players off his team at Hargrave Military Academy,” said Byington. “Immediately after meeting him I noticed his organization, his energy and his great communications skills. Jason has paid his dues and I feel his work ethic will lead him to have a long and successful career in coaching.”

In Slay’s four years as Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at West Virginia State, the Yellow Jackets won two West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

As a player in four seasons with the Yellow Jackets, Slay was a four-year captain and a two-year starter. His teams reached the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 three times (2004, 2006, 2007) and the Yellow Jackets won back-to-back WVIAC Tournament Championships in 2006 and 2007.

At Hargrave Military Academy, Slay worked with a group that included 10 players who were signed to Division I programs. As the Head Assistant Coach at Hargrave, Slay also served as Director of Individual Player Development and Summer Training. He also coached ad several summer camps across the country.

The product of a basketball family, Slay’s brother Tamar Slay was drafted in the 2002 NBA Draft out of Marshall by the New Jersey Nets and played in the 2003 NBA Finals. He currently plays in the Italian SerieA for Sutor MGR. His cousin, Ron Slay, was a standout performer at Tennessee.

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