Charleston Southern University and men's basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh have announced an agreement to a contract extension that ensures the continued growth of the program for the foreseeable future.
The Buccaneers finished 19-13 this past season, including a 12-4 record in the Big South Conference. CSU won the Big South regular season title and advanced to the finals of the conference tournament. CSU played in the NIT tournament, pushing top-seeded Southern Miss to the limits in a last minute loss.
Radebaugh has produced back-to-back 19-win seasons, including a 23-11 mark in the Big South. The 38 victories rates as the most in consecutive seasons since the mid-1980's.
Details of the contract were not released but Charleston Southern athletic director Hank Small called the agreement, "a significant long-term commitment by the University.
"I think it works for everybody that we were able to put this all together. It's a two-way street. Loyalty works both ways. The support and the success work both ways. Barclay's commitment to us illustrates that."
Radebaugh battled through ups-and-downs in his first five seasons as head coach but has guided the program to 54 victories over the last three seasons.
"There were years when this institution made a commitment to me when maybe I didn't deserve that commitment," said Radebaugh, who needs 15 wins next season to become the school's all-time winningest coach with 122 victories. "We had some lean years. I believe commitment goes both ways. They never wavered. I am interested in returning that commitment. I am interested in helping this program reach the highest level that it can and that's what I am so grateful that the University has placed their trust in me.
"One of the things I take great pride in is being the front porch for our University. Certainly athletics is not the most important part of a University but often times it is the most visible. We feel we have a great opportunity as a basketball program to expose the great things that are happening at this University. This is a really good time to be a part of Charleston Southern and I'm happy that I will be able to enjoy future years at this school."
After the success of the 2012-13 season, it was widely reported that Radebaugh was interested in other positions, or that other programs were interested in the coach. Radebaugh says most of the rumors were not based on fact and he felt the need to quiet the storm with today's announcement.
"There has been a lot of talk out there and it was hurting our recruiting," said Radebaugh. "I am committed to being the basketball coach here and I am very happy and satisfied with the commitment made to me by the University.
"It has been a great process. We work with a group of trustworthy men here. I deal with men of very strong character. We can talk very openly about what is best for Charleston Southern. We're all on the same team. We all want to see positive growth for men's basketball as part of the overall growth of the University. We will continue to work very hard together to make it happen for everyone."
In addition to the contract commitment made to Radebaugh, Small indicated that current members of Radebaugh's staff also received financial considerations as a reward for their efforts.
"We wanted to elevate in that area (coaching salaries) as well," said Small. "We think our coaches are doing a great job. Coach Radebaugh has consistently given credit to his staff for the success that the basketball program has had lately. It's a concern because we have lost some very good people in the past so we wanted to do what we could do to help them enjoy an extended tenure here at Charleston Southern. They are very talented and very good at what they do."
Radebaugh's teams have progressed from nine wins in 2008-09, to 13 victories the following season and 16 wins three seasons ago. The Buccaneers set a school record with 297 made three-pointers this past season and were ranked second nationally with 9.3 three-pointers per game. CSU returns the league's top backcourt in rising juniors Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper and will likely be the preseason pick to win the Big South next season.
The coach indicated he is committed to more than just next season.
"I really cherish the role of being the spokesperson in public for the great things that are happening at Charleston Southern," he said. "I love Charleston. My wife loves Charleston. We are very committed to Charleston Southern. This is a really cool place and the future is unlimited. It's an honor to be a part of this.
"You see a lot of guys bounce around. There is something to be said for longevity. We will have the privilege of being able to do that. It has been an amazing journey during our eight years here. It has been a lot of fun and the future will be fun as well."