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CofC coach Bobby Cremins taking medical leave of absence

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Mark Byington at a press conference Friday evening at the TD arena. Mark Byington at a press conference Friday evening at the TD arena.

College of Charleston officials announced Friday evening that Cougars coach Bobby Cremins is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence effective immediately due to a medical condition that is not life threatening.

CofC Director of Athletics Joe Hull said during a press conference at the TD arena that he does not expect Cremins to return to coaching basketball this season. Hull also announced that Associate Head Coach Mark Byington as the new interim head coach.

"I have decided to step aside to take a medical leave of absence. I have asked our Athletic Director, Joe Hull, to turn the team over to our Associate Head Coach Mark Byington," Cremins said in a statement released on Friday."Mark is an outstanding young man and basketball coach. I have complete faith in him as do our players. Being able to come back and coach at the College of Charleston has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I hope everybody will continue to support our team and Mark."

"Our team's thoughts are with Coach Cremins as he made this decision, which was the best for his health and happiness," Byington said. "As everyone knows, there is not a nicer, more generous, or caring person in the world than Coach Cremins. The world needs people like Coach Cremins, so we need to let him get better.

"I completely understand Bobby's decision," College of Charleston President George Benson said. "He must do what's best for his health. Given how much Bobby loves coaching and how committed he is to his players, his coaching staff, and the College, I know this was a very difficult decision for him."

Cremins, a Bronx, N.Y. native, was in his sixth season as the head men's basketball coach at College of Charleston. He was named the head coach at the College of Charleston on July 3, 2006. This is his 31st season as an NCAA Dev. I head coach.

Byington has been Cremins' top assistant for the last six years and has coached nine years overall at CofC as a member of former head coach Tom Herrion's coaching staff from 2002-04 and 2005-06.

"What a great gentleman Bobby Cremins is," Hull said. "He consistently puts the needs of others above his own. In this instance, I hope everyone will respect coach's privacy as he needs to look after himself and get well. We will miss Bobby as he recovers. In the meantime, I am confident Coach Byington and our team will close out the season with a strong run. Our goal is to win the Southern Conference championship and that is where our primary focus will be."

Cremins also coached six seasons at Appalachian State (1976-81, 100-70) and 19 at Georgia Tech (1982-2000, 354-237). He is the winningest coach in Georgia Tech history. He currently ranks among the top 15 active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories.

Cremins has a 567-367 (.607) overall career record as a Division I head coach. He led Appalachian State to one NCAA Tournament berth and Georgia Tech to nine.

Copyright WCSC 2012. All rights reserved.

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