By Chris Chaney
The University of Cincinnati – Clermont College has announced that they have hired Greg Himes on an interim basis to coach the men’s basketball team.
Himes will replace former coach John Hurley who was relieved of his duties effective May 10. Himes brings a familiarity with the school and past coaching experience around the area to his new position.
“I coached in the (Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference) two seasons ago at Southern State,” Himes said. “Before that, I coached an AAU program for several years, worked at Mason County High School from 2000-2004 and at Bracken County High School back in the ‘90s.
“But I have my experience at Southern State and was Coach of the Year and Co-Coach of the Year in the OCAC in my two years there.”
Himes said with his familiarity with the conference and the area, he found out about the opening at UC Clermont. He called Brian Sullivan, the athletic director at UC Clermont, sent in a résumé and interviewed for the job on an interim basis. Himes said that both parties liked what they saw and he was given the job.
“Greg will bring his success and experience to the Cougars Athletics,” Sullivan said in a press release. “We look forward to working with him.”
According to Mae Hanna, the Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications at UC Clermont, the school will continue to search for a permanent coach, but Himes hopes that the school has already found one.
“I definitely would (like to use the interim position to catapult into the full-time job),” Himes said. “Clermont’s got a great tradition. It’s a really great program and campus.”
Himes said that he has already begun working as the interim coach, putting on a handful of open gyms while also working the recruiting trail.
“It seems like everything is going pretty well pretty far (with recruiting),” Himes said. “I’ve had some kids on campus and the freshmen-to-be who were planning on coming before me are responding really well. These guys want to play basketball and go to college to get their education, so they’re excited about coming to UC Clermont.”
Following Hurley’s firing, the former coach said that he thought there could be some turnover with current players leaving the school to pursue other options, but Himes said that hasn’t been the case.
“I haven’t heard of anybody right now who’s transferring out,” Himes said.
The Cougars will continue to play a difficult slate of teams under Himes as they continue to be independent of a conference affiliation, making putting together a schedule a difficult task. This past season, the Cougars played some of the best teams in NCAA Division II, III and NAIA Division I.
Himes believes that schedule will prepare his team for the postseason.
“We’ve got some really great seniors that will help with leadership,” Himes said. “I know these guys because I coached against them when I was at Southern (State). We have high expectations like they do every year at Clermont. We can do really well. We’re going to play a tough schedule as usual, but when it comes tournament time, these guys are going to be ready, willing and able.”