Charleston Southern Athletic Director Hank Small announced Thursday morning that he will retire effective April 1, following 17 years as the head of the CSU Athletic Department.
A nationwide search will commence to find the next CSU Athletic Director. Luke Blackmon, Vice President for Business Affairs and Athletics, will serve as the Interim A.D. beginning April 1, until a permanent successor to Small is named.
"I thank Dr. Hunter for the opportunity to be a part of a Division I Athletics Program at a great Christian university," Small said. "It has been a privilege to work with such an outstanding group of people these past 17 years. Our coaches and support staff have done a magnificent job of helping our athletes compete at a very high level and we have been able to make some progress as a result. Winning games, even championships, has been exciting but the great joy has been watching God work in people's lives."
During Small's tenure, over $14 million in capital projects and renovations have been completed culminating with the completion of the CSU Athletic Performance Center and Singleton Baseball Complex in the past year.
Since becoming Athletic Director in the summer of 2001, Charleston Southern has captured nine Big South championships and made 10 NCAA team postseason appearances. Notable among the conference championships are a trio of conference football titles in 2005, 2015, and 2016, as well as CSU's first NCAA appearances in both softball (2014) and women's tennis (2015). Men's Golf became the first program in school history to earn an at-large NCAA Tournament bid in 2016.
Men's and Women's Basketball have also found postseason success during Small's tenure with the women's basketball team earning a trio of WBI appearances in 2010, 2011, and 2017. The men's basketball team won a pair of Big South regular season championships in 2013 and 2015, earning bids to the NIT in both seasons.
Small came to CSU in the summer of 2001 following a four-year stint as assistant football coach at Wake Forest University. Small has over 30 years of experience in NCAA Division I athletics, including stints at Rutgers, Florida State, Lehigh, Princeton, and Brown. Small also spent one year in the personnel office of the New England Patriots.
As the head coach at Lehigh, Small guided the Engineers to a Patriot League Championship. During his tenure, the offense ascended to record-setting heights as a number of school records fell.
Small is a 1969 graduate of Gettysburg College and has a master of science degree from Rutgers University. Small and his wife, Pamela, currently reside in Goose Creek. His daughter, Lacy, and middle son, Johnathan, both graduated from CSU.
What they had to say about Athletic Director Hank Small
"It has been a true pleasure to work with Hank throughout his 17 years at Charleston Southern University. He is everything you want in a leader – student-athlete centered, a person of highest integrity, strong values, and a servant to those he worked with and for. The success of the Buccaneer athletics programs and expansion of the athletics facilities have been extremely impressive under his guidance. The Big South has benefited immeasurably from his hard work and diligence, and he will surely be missed. We wish nothing but the best for Hank and Pamela in their retirement." – Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander.
"As Coach Small's direct supervisor over the last year and eight months, I have had the privilege to witness his ability to integrate faith with some powerful devotionals at his head coach meetings and Spring and Fall retreats. He is a man of character of which I have complete respect. – CSU Vice President for Business Affairs and Athletics Luke Blackmon.
"We have been blessed to have a servant leader in Hank Small. During his tenure at Charleston Southern University, Hank has significantly enhanced the University's mission of "promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment" through the athletics." - CSU President Dr. Jairy C. Hunter.
"Coach Small provided an environment that allowed me to grow as a coach. His door was always open and he was always willing to let me bounce ideas off him. Coach was instrumental in helping us develop a top 50 golf program. I am forever grateful to Coach Small for hiring me and helping develop my coaching skills." – former CSU Director of Golf and current men's golf coach at UAB, Michael Wilson.
"Coach Small has meant a great deal to our program. He has scheduled well and been a strong advocate for our needs as well as making himself accessible, regardless of how large or small the situation may be. Anyone in a position of leadership is subject to praise and scrutiny; I have found Coach Small to be a man that handles both with humility and poise." –CSU head football coach Mark Tucker.
"Building the CSU Athletic Department has been a tremendous team effort. Hank has been a patient, determined, and prayerful leader. We are all thankful for Hank's strong character and commitment to the Buccaneers over the last 17 years." –CSU head men's basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh.