Legendary College of Charleston Men’s Basketball head coach John Kresse headlines three of the newest members of the ASUN Conference Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019 was announced on Tuesday.
Kresse was selected for induction alongside Florida Golf Coast’s Carmen Paez (softball) and Lipscomb’s Ann Mullins (volleyball). The Hall of Fame’s fifth annual induction ceremony will take place on Monday, Oct. 7, on the campus of ASUN member FGCU in Fort Myers, Fla.
One of the most decorated coaches in ASUN (formerly the Trans America Athletic Conference) history, Kresse collected three TAAC Coach of the Year nods to go along with five-straight regular-season titles from 1993-98. During his time in the league, Kresse’s squads compiled a 74-6 conference record including an undefeated 16-0 season in 1997. Overall, the Cougars recorded a 125-23 mark, which still stands as the highest-winning percentage of any team in league history.
During his time at CofC, Kresse excelled as he guided the Cougars in their transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I status. The Cougars made three NCAA Tournament appearances starting in 1994 with an at-large bid and CofC earning a No. 12 seed and posting a 24-4 overall record (ineligible for the ASUN Championship). They would later win back-to-back TAAC Championship titles in 1997 and 1998 and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Kresse and the Cougars upset fifth-seeded Maryland, 75-66, in the 1997 NCAA First Round as a No. 12 seed, marking the league’s second-ever March Madness triumph. CofC finished the year with a 29-3 overall record led by the dangerous tandem of Thaddeous Delaney and former NBA star Anthony Johnson, who claimed Player of the Year status in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
In 1998, Kresse guided Charleston to its fifth-straight league regular-season title with a 14-2 record as the Cougars advanced to their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance after claiming the conference tournament crown which would mark College of Charleston’s final season in the TAAC.
Kresse retired from coaching in 2002 as he amassed a 560-143 record over 23 seasons at The College. His career .797 winning percentage is fifth all-time trailing legendary head coaches John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and Clair Bee and Mark Few.
Prior to joining the TAAC, College of Charleston won the 1983 NAIA National Championship with a 33-5 overall record. A coaching legend, Kresse never recorded a losing record on the sidelines and totaled 17 20-win seasons and four 30-win campaigns.
He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 alongside Houston’s Otis Birdsong, Arizona’s Sean Elliott, Arkansas’ Sidney Moncrief, North Carolina’s Sam Perkins, Morgan State’s Marvin Webster and USC’s Paul Westphal and former Oregon Tech Head Coach Danny Miles.