HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College vice president of athletics and facilities Lynn Griffin announced today that Aric Samuel has been named assistant men's basketball coach and director of the DeLoach Center. He begins Aug. 1.
"I am beyond excited for the opportunity at Coker," Samuel said. "I've been coaching high school for 16 years, so to get the chance to coach at the collegiate level is one I could not pass up. Being able to work with and learn under the great Dan Schmotzer is going to be incredible. I cannot thank the administration at Coker enough for this wonderful opportunity."
Samuels' role with the college will be to serve as assistant coach to Dan Schmotzer, the men's basketball head coach. He will also run the day-to-day operations of the Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center, a 71,000 square-foot athletics facility currently under construction. Its anticipated opening is spring 2014.
Samuel comes to Coker after eight seasons as the head boys basketball coach for Hartsville High School, where he compiled a record of 125-47. He led the Red Foxes to back-to-back Class 3A state titles the past two seasons, with a 65-62 victory over Eastside High School in March that capped a 28-1 season in 2012-13.
"This is an outstanding hire not only for our program, but for the college," said Schmotzer. "I've known Aric since he was in high school, and he's a proven winner as a player and coach. He will help with our player development, recruiting, and serve as a great liaison between the coaches and players.
"His work ethic is phenomenal, and he's one of the most positive individuals you'll ever be around. I'm very excited to have him on board."
In addition to his duties as coach at Hartsville, Samuel served as program director at the Hartsville YMCA. He developed workout regimens for members, implemented youth and adult sports programs, and was responsible for marketing throughout the community.
Prior to his time at Hartsville High, Samuel was head varsity coach for Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School in Neeses, S.C. He led the Trojans to two state title appearances, in 2002 and 2005, with the 2005 squad winning the 1A championship.
"Aric has shown he knows how to win and develop talent," Griffin said. "His leadership in the DeLoach Center will lead us to new heights as well. We are fortunate to add such a quality coaching talent and person to the Cobra family."
Samuel is a three-time High School Sports Report coach of the year and two-time Region 6 coach of the year. He's had players continue to the collegiate level, with Jaylen Shaw, who will attend the University of South Carolina on a basketball scholarship this fall, the most recent.
Samuel played basketball for South Carolina State and received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from SCSU in 1997. He resides in Hartsville with his wife, Brandi, and five children: Brandon Tyson, 15; Kevin Tyson, 14; Maniya Tyson, 11; Aric Samuel Jr., 5; and Jordan Samuel, 1.
Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.