Kyle Perry Officially Introduced As New Head Men's Basketball Coach At Limestone
The Saints have turned to a Bobby Cremins protege to lead their men’s basketball team.
Former University of South Carolina Upstate head coach and longtime assistant Kyle Perry has been tabbed to oversee Limestone College’s program
Perry, who 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 was introduced by Limestone’s Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Cerino. The College’s President Dr. Darrell Parker also spoke at the press conference.
During the 2018-2019 campaign, Perry served as an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina Asheville.
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.”
Prior to going to UNC Asheville, 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.
“Throughout his career, and particularly during his time at the University of South Carolina Upstate, Coach Perry has formed strong relationships with high school coaches across the state of South Carolina, into North Carolina, and across our region,” he added. “We believe those connections will enable Coach Perry to bring in top-notch talent and quality student-athletes to Limestone College to take our program to greater heights.”
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.
“As you can hear and see, Kyle Perry will bring some exciting energy to our men’s basketball program at Limestone College,” Parker said following Perry’s time at the podium. “Throughout our search, everyone we spoke to about Kyle talked about his high character and his commitment to building a top-quality basketball program. During our interviews, he proved to us that he has the ability to elevate the profile of our program, especially as we stand poised to join the South Atlantic Conference in 2020.
“We were looking for a person with great integrity and a strong recruiting network in our area who could write the next chapter in Saints basketball,” he continued. “We wanted someone who could develop talent on the court and foster student-athlete character away from the gym. Kyle checked all the boxes.”
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT KYLE PERRY:
“I am really happy for Kyle, and for Limestone as the Saints are getting a tremendous coach and a even better person. Kyle loves the game, and is very excited about the opportunity to lead the Limestone basketball program. He understands what it takes to be a successful student-athlete and is really focused on seeing his players succeed on the court and in the classroom.” – Bobby Cremins: former head coach at Appalachian State, Georgia Tech, and College of Charleston - Naismith College Coach of the Year, 3-time ACC Coach of the Year, 4-time SoCon Coach of the Year
“I'm very excited for Kyle and Limestone. I've been blessed to have had assistants leave me and go to the highlest levels of college basketball to work. Kyle Perry without a doubt is the best I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Congratulations to Limestone for making this tremendously positive hire.” – Tim Carter: The all-time winningest coach at University of Texas at San Antonio
“Kyle Perry is one of the good guys in the profession! Former Division I head coach and Division I assistant coach to some legends. He is a veteran head coach that has the respect of NCAA coaches all over the country. He can coach and he can recruit – Limestone hit the jackpot with Kyle, but Kyle also hit the jackpot with Limestone. A perfect match!” – John Shulman: two-time SoCon Tournament Champion at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
“We are extremely excited for Kyle. He did a great job for us here at UNC Asheville, and we wish him nothing but the best at Limestone!” – Mike Morrell: head coach at UNC Asheville
ACCOMPANYING PHOTO: Kyle Perry (left) and Mike Cerino.