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With James Johnson in as head coach, it’s time for him to get to work and build his coaching staff. According to reports, Johnson may have struck a deal with College of Charleston interim head coach Mark Byington. For some local basketball fans, this should be a familiar name.
Byington graduated from Salem High School in Salem, Virginia where he was named the Player of the Year in the state of Virginia as a senior. He then went on to start at UNC Wilmington for three seasons and was named to the 2nd team All-CAA Defensive team as a senior.
Byington doesn’t have a long coaching resume but he’s been effective wherever he’s gone. He was an assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy in 2001 and 2002. From there he became the Director of Basketball Operations at UVA in the 2004 – 2005 season. After the 2005 season, he then grabbed an assistant coach position at the College of Charleston and has been there ever since.
Overall, this would be an excellent hire by the Hokies. Byington is a good recruiter and was the main reason CofC landed the #3 center prospect in the country this past year in Adjehi Baru. He’s also a good X’s and O’s coach according to his former boss Bobby Cremins.
"Mark is an excellent basketball coach and X's and O's man," Cremins said. "He's a hard worker and is destined to become a very successful head coach in the near future."
This is a good start to the staff if this rumor turns out to be true. Byington would bring an active, high-energy attitude to the staff and should be a very effective recruiter at this level as well. Also, there’s an outside chance that Baru could follow Byington to Tech since the Hokies were in his final three before he decided on going to Charleston.
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