USF Names New Basketball Assistant Coach

Tampa, FL (June 19, 2006) – The University of South Florida men's basketball program has announced the hiring of Charles Cunningham as an assistant coach, head coach Robert McCullum announced Monday afternoon.



 Charles Cunningham, who owns a wealth of coaching experience at the prep and collegiate levels, comes to Tampa after most recently serving as an assistant coach at Duquesne University.  He has also made stops at UNLV, Minnesota, Arkansas State, Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri State), Western Kentucky and Murray State.

 "We are extremely excited to have coach Cunningham join our staff," McCullum said.  "He brings a wealth of recruiting experience and basketball knowledge from his extensive coaching career.  I am confident the program will benefit greatly from his addition."

 Previous to his five seasons at Duquesne, Cunningham assisted at UNLV for one season (2000-01) following a successful run at Minnesota.  He helped guide the Gophers to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four appearance in 1997, and a National Invitation Tournament championship in 1998.  Minnesota also advanced to the NCAA's in 1999.

 Cunningham has recruited or coached a number of professional-caliber student-athletes, including current NBA players Bobby Jackson, John Thomas and Joel Przybilla.  He also helped to develop Popeye Jones (Western Kentucky) and former Gophers Quincy Lewis and Sam Jacobson.

 He also served for one season (1998-99) as an Assistant Athletic Director for Men's Basketball Operations at Minnesota.

 Before moving to the Twin Cities, Cunningham gained valuable experience at the NCAA Division I level with successful stints at Murray State, Western Kentucky, Missouri State and Arkansas State.  While at Murray State, the Racers advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1992.  The 14th-seeded team, led by future NBA player Popeye Jones, upset No. 3 seed North Carolina State in the opening round.

As a member of the Missouri State coaching staff in 1992-93, Cunningham helped guide the Bears to an NIT appearance.

 "Charles has worked with successful programs across the country," McCullum said.  "He owns vast experience recruiting overseas and I am confident he will enhance our ability to recruit competitively in the BIG EAST."

 Cunningham began his full-time coaching career in the prep ranks, serving as an assistant coach at Bradshaw High School in Florence, Ala., before becoming the head coach at the school.  He was an assistant for eight years (1975-83) and head coach for three (1983-86).

 The Aliceville, Ala., native earned his bachelor's degree in physical education/history from the University of North Alabama in 1973 and completed his master's work in education in 1975 at UNA.  His first coaching job came at North Alabama, where he served as a graduate assistant with the men's basketball team for two seasons.

 He was a two-year starter at Snead Junior College in Boaz, Ala. before transferring to North Alabama (then Florence State).  He earned a pair of letters at UNA and was an all-conference selection as a senior.  He was recently inducted into UNA's athletic hall of fame.

 The 54-year-old Cunningham has three children – daughter, Robin, and sons, Damone and Derrick.

 "I am very happy and exited by the opportunity to become part of the family at USF," Cunningham said.  "I have known coach McCullum for a long time and am looking forward to working with him and the rest of the staff.

 Cunningham's hiring completes McCullum's staff for the upcoming 2006-07 campaign.  Fourth-year assistant Frank Burnell and third-year coach Greg Gary both return and the director of basketball operations position was filled in May with the return of former South Florida Bull standout Reggie Kohn.



2001-05           Assistant Coach                       Duquesne University

2000-01           Assistant Coach                       UNLV

1999                Assistant Coach                       University of Minnesota

1998-99           Asst. AD/MBB Operations        University of Minnesota

                       1999 NCAA Tournament (1st Round)

1996-98           Assistant Coach                       University of Minnesota

                       1998 NIT Champions

                       1997 NCAA Final Four

1995-96           Assistant Coach                       Arkansas State University

1992-95           Assistant Coach                       Southwest Missouri State

                      1993 NIT

1988-92           Assistant Coach                       Western Kentucky University

                      1992 NIT

1986-88           Assistant Coach                       Murray State University

                      1988 NCAA Tournament (2nd Round)

1983-86           Head Coach                             Bradshaw HS (Florence, Ala.)

1975-83           Assistant Coach                       Bradshaw HS (Florence, Ala.)

1973-75           Graduate Assistant                  University of North Alabama


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