Following up on something that I mentioned yesterday (DII DIRT). It’s now been made official that UNC Asheville assistant (and former USC Upstate head coach) Kyle Perry has been named as the new basketball coach at DII Limestone College (SC). The school released the following statement:
Limestone College and Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Cerino have announced that former USC Upstate head coach and longtime assistant Kyle Perry will take the reins of the men’s basketball program as it begins its transition into the South Atlantic Conference.
Perry, a protégé of legendary coach Bobby Cremins, spent nine seasons with the Spartans, including one year as the head coach, was introduced at a press conference held inside the Legacy Lounge in the Timken Center on Thursday, May 9. Perry is the eighth head men’s basketball coach in program history.
He played for Coach Cremins at Georgia Tech, and later worked on his staff during Cremins’ tenure at the College of Charleston. Considered by many a rising star in the coaching ranks, Perry has also learned his craft under the mentorship of other legendary coaches such as Eddie Payne at USC Upstate, Tim Carter at South Carolina State, and Dale Clayton at Carson-Newman.
“I am blessed that God opened the door for me to be the head basketball coach at Limestone College,” said Perry. “I want to thank Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker and Coach Cerino for entrusting me to lead the men’s basketball program, and I am looking forward to working hard for this great college and community.”
Perry served as an assistant coach at UNC Asheville this past season. Prior to that, he was at USC Upstate for nine seasons where he helped guide the Spartans to the their first-ever wins over ACC and SEC opponents in South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi State. The Spartans reached the Atlantic Sun championship game in 2015 and made three trips to the semifinals during Perry’s tenure.
He inherits a Limestone program that has experienced a lot of success over the past decade, including a pair of Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championships, three conference tournament titles, four NCAA Tournament appearances, and five 20-win seasons. The Saints will compete in Conference Carolinas for one more season before moving to the South Atlantic Conference in the 2020-21 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Perry as the next head men’s basketball coach at Limestone,” said Cerino. “With his experience as a Division I student-athlete and a coaching pedigree that was developed by some of the game’s best coaches, we believe he is the perfect person to move the program forward.”
Perry was on staff for each of USC Upstate’s trips to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, helping to lead the team to the second round in both 2013 and 2015. As an assistant on Eddie Payne’s staff, he was instrumental during the program’s early seasons at the Division I level. The team posted the best turnaround in the NCAA by improving from five wins in 2010-11 to a 21-13 mark the following year.
As a highly-respected recruiter in North and South Caroilina, Perry also helped put together one of the best classes in USC Upstate history that resulted in the Spartans bringing in future Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Torrey Craig, who is currently in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets.
A Tennessee native, Perry has an extensive coaching background in addition to his time at USC Upstate that includes two seasons as an assistant coach at South Carolina State under Tim Carter.
He served as the Director of Basketball Operations under head coach Bobby Cremins at the College of Charleston. During his time with the Cougars, he helped recruit Andrew Goudelock, who finished his career as Charleston’s all-time leading scorer en route to being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Goudelock is still playing professional basketball in Europe.
Before joining the College of Charleston, Perry spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Carson-Newman University. He was promoted to Associate Head Coach by head coach Dale Clayton prior to the 2005-06 season.
Perry launched his career as a graduate assistant under Jeff Lebo at Tennessee Tech during the 2001-02 season. The Golden Eagles won 27 games, the Ohio Valley Conference, and appeared in the 2002 National Invitation Tournament.
A three-year letterman for Cremins at Georgia Tech, Perry was a four-time All-ACC Academic Honoree and a Hope Scholarship recipient from 1997-2001.
Perry earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia Tech in 2001. He earned his Master’s in Education from Tennessee Tech in 2002.