Gamecocks' AD to take his time in coach search

Associated Press
South Carolina coach Dave Odom (right) will step down at the end of the season. Athletic director Eric Hyman has developed a profile for a successor by talking to players on the team.

COLUMBIA --- South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman certainly knows what he's up against as he prepares for his biggest coaching hire in his short time heading Gamecock athletics.


"You're only as good as your last miracle," Hyman said.

Two weeks after longtime basketball coach Dave Odom announced his retirement, Hyman painted a broad picture short on absolutes about how he will look for Odom's replacement.

Two things for sure: Forget about a search committee and count on a lot of fact finding.

Hyman, who took over on July 1, 2005, will do most of the leg work himself. He's already talked with Gamecock players to "develop a profile" about the kind of candidate the team needs.

Hyman called current and former head coaches he knows for an outline of what issues might be most important to a potential coach.

Hyman says he will call on South Carolina academic adviser Al Daniel, who has played and coached college basketball, for help in sifting through potential candidates.

Odom's retirement -- he'll step down after his seventh season with South Carolina -- gave Hyman a cushion to prepare, the AD said.

Still, Hyman didn't let slip too many clues about the search.

He wouldn't say if he had anyone call already about the opening. He wouldn't specify a time for a hire.

Hyman is open to both head coaches and talented assistants, although he would probably lean toward someone with experience running a team.

He only said South Carolina would put forth a salary package that fit the marketplace for basketball coaches.

"I think it's a hell of a job, to be brutally frank," he said.

He says whoever takes the position will have some of the best facilities in the Southeastern Conference to recruit with and a nucleus of returning players that includes guard Devan Downey and Zam Fredrick, the Gamecocks top two scorers this season.

"The bottom line I try to look for in any coaching search is work ethic, intelligence and integrity," Hyman said. "Those are the cornerstones and then you build on it with a lot of the things you extrapolate from the athletes and some of these people that really know the University of South Carolina."



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