Young Assembles New Georgia Southern Men's Basketball Coaching Staff
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern Men’s Basketball Coach CharltonYoung announced the hiring of his first staff, adding Steve Smith, Chris Kreider (pronounced CRY-der) and Pershin Williams (pronounced PER-sian) as assistant coaches for the 2009-2010 season.
The top assistant at USC Upstate since 2005, Steve Smith joins the Eagle program after seven overall seasons as a member of Eddie Payne’s Spartans coaching staff. During Smith's tenure as an assistant coach with USC Upstate, the Spartans won two Peach Belt Conference championships and helped lead the team to two NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, advancing to the second round in 2005.
“Steve Smith is one of the top young assistants in the country, definitely one of the top young assistants and recruiters in the country,” said Coach Young. “He is definitely one of the premier young recruiters in the South who also happens to have a very good understanding of the game. Coach Smith’s military background makes him very disciplined and dedicated to whatever goals he sets.”
Smith coached three players, Kevin Harrington, Jay Free and Luke Payne, who finished their careers with more than 1,000 points as well as C.J. Paul, who played from 2002-2004 and ranks in the top 10 for career marks in three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals and assists. In 2008-2009, senior Bobby Davis finished his career with 738 points and 501 rebounds in his two years with the Spartans. His 8.3 rebounds per game average topped Upstate's all-time list and he ranked 36th in all-time scoring.
Smith attended Morgan State University from 1991-94 and played basketball for the Bears for two seasons. He enlisted in the Army, serving from 1994-2000 with assignments at Ft. Gordon (Ga.), Ft. Hood (Texas) and Ft. Meade (Md.). While in the Army, he specialized in computers, gaining invaluable training in that discipline. When a Commanding Officer saw Smith playing a pick-up game on base, he was later selected to participate as a member of the All-Army basketball team. That team played year-round and traveled throughout the country playing exhibition games against Division I colleges and universities. Smith and his teammates also completed against other United States service teams, as well as international teams.
Upon completing his commitment to the Army in 2000, Smith enrolled at Trinity College to finish his degree while working as an assistant women's basketball coach at Allen University in Columbia, S.C. Smith spent two years at Allen and earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems in 2002.
Smith was a two-time All-Region selection at Wade Hampton High School (S.C.) and helped lead the Red Devils to three conference championships. A native of Varnville, S.C., Smith and his wife, the former Fran Thompson, are the parents of a daughter, Tayler (10), and a son, Jordan (14 months), and serve as guardians for Smith's nephew, Justin (15).
Chris Kreider launches his full-time Division I coaching career in 2009 with the Georgia Southern Eagles. Kreider served on Georgia Tech’s coaching staff as volunteer assistant for one year before being promoted to administrative assistant for the 2008-2009 season.
“The best term to describe Coach Kreider is hard work,” said Young. “He is one of the most organized, passionate and dedicated people I have ever met in my entire life. He has worked his way to this level with sheer will and persistence. There is no question he has a bright future in this profession.”
From Hummelstown, Pa., Kreider entered the college coaching ranks at the University of Great Falls in Montana where he served one year as an assistant coach from 2002-2003. He then coached high school basketball at St. Francis in Alpharetta, Ga., for three years. Serving first as junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach, Kreider lead the girls varsity team in his second year and in 2005-2006 was named the head coach of the Knights varsity boys program.
Kreider spent the 2006-2007 campaign as a volunteer assistant at USC Aiken under his former assistant coach Vince Alexander before joining the Yellow Jackets in June 2007.
A starter at small forward for three colleges, Kreider played for one year at Mansfield University before transferring to Grove City College (Pa.). In his junior season, Kreider led the Wolverines in scoring (12.3 ppg) and steals (52). Kreider finished his playing and academic career at Lebanon Valley College under Coach Brad McAlester in 2002, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish in 2003.
Kreider is married to the former Heather Akers of Atlanta.
Drawing on his coaching and administrative experience at several institutions following his playing career, Pershin Williams completes the list of new hires for the Georgia Southern men’s basketball staff. Williams joins the eagle coaching ranks from Lafayette University where he most recently served as assistant coach.
Williams’ connections to Lafayette coaching alumni began when he was a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech, working with Leopards coaching alumni Pete Schwethelm and John O'Connor. He continued his coaching education on the basketball staff of the United States Merchant Marine under head coach John Krikorian another former Lafayette assistant coach. Williams spent the 2008-2009 season at Lafayette University.
“Coach Williams demonstrates the qualities we were looking for as both a coach and a person,” said Young. “He can really help our program, he’s young and not that far removed from his playing days. I think he will be really good at building relationships with our players and mentoring them.”
A Columbus, Ga., native, Williams played for three years at Columbus State where he helped the Cougars achieve a 27-5 record. In his junior season, he earned a top national ranking at point guard before transferring to the University of North Florida. Williams set the Osprey single-season records for assists (161) and steals.
A 2005 graduate of the University of North Florida with a degree in education of sports leadership, Williams is continuing to pursue his master’s in sports administration from Georgia State.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Tuesday, 05 May 2009 11:11