Let me take a moment to put on my UNC Greensboro cap since that is what the degree says and point out that Winthrop has hired assistant coach Randy Peele to head the basketball program. Peele replaces Greg Marshall who finally got a clue that his star had risen high enough to get the heck out of Rock Hill.
Who is Randy Peele might you ask?
Peele was the head coach at UNCG from 1995 to 1999 going 46-69 before being dismissed for not being a very good coach. In fact of his 46 wins, 23 of them came in the first season when he took over for Mike Dement(who is head coach there again) when Dement took the job at SMU which incidentally is currently held by former UNC coach and player Matt Doherty. That 1995-96 team won the Big South and went to the NCAA Tournament losing by five to #2 seeded Cincinnati. It was all downhill from there and since I was working in the SID office my senior year I got front row seats for every home game as the Spartans sputtered along to obscurity. The fact of the matter was Peele could not recruit and his coaching was not all that spectacular either thus the fairly horrid record over the final years. In Peele’s defense he was around 37 when he took the UNCG job which is fairly young in terms of coaches which I would imagine makes recruiting a more difficult task.
Greg Marshall built a great program at Winthrop which means Peele will probably get the same early bump he got in Greensboro but could face a possible crash and burn if the recruiting pipeline dries up in the absence of Marshall. Let’s face it, Marshall made Winthrop what it was. If memory serves, Winthrop was a doormat in the Big South while I was attending UNCG and then Marshall showed up making into a mid-major threat. While Peele was apparently a key part of that success, much of the credit still goes to Marshall for getting the whole program rolling. Perhaps Peele can build on his experiences since the UNCG debacle and maintain much the same level as Marshall did.
Otherwise, folks in Rock Hill better prepare themselves for a stunning fall from mid-major glory such as it is.