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March 27, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s basketball director of player development Neill Berry has been promoted to assistant coach for the Gamecock staff, Carolina head coach Darrin Horn announced on Friday. Berry fills the assistant coaching position vacated by Scott Cherry’s appointment as the head coach at High Point University on Thursday. Berry has served in various capacities in the coaching profession since 2005.

“This has been a great week for our program,” Horn said. “As a head coach, I’m dedicated to helping develop a staff that is in position to move into quality head coaching positions and certainly wish Scott Cherry all the best as he moves on to High Point. By the same token, it’s a huge positive that we were able to replace Scott from within with the promotion of Neill Berry to assistant coach for our staff.

“Neill is a rising star in our profession. He has earned the respect of everyone he comes in contact with, including players, recruits, co-workers and others in the coaching profession,” continued Horn. “He has played an integral role in every area of our program, from being involved with on-campus recruiting to ensuring the academic success of our student-athletes. He knows our system, believes in our program and his experience with our program will make for a seamless transition for all involved, especially in the area most important to us, our student-athletes.”

Since entering the coaching profession as an intern in 2005, Berry has been an important aspect of Horn’s staff both at Western Kentucky and South Carolina. His efforts helped Western Kentucky win the 2006 Sun Belt Conference East Division title for the first time in three seasons, while he also helped guide the Hilltoppers to the 2008 NCAA Sweet 16 in his first season as a full-time assistant under Horn.

“I’m very excited to continue my career as an assistant coach for Coach Horn and the University of South Carolina.” Berry said. “During my time at Western Kentucky and this past season at South Carolina, I’ve benefitted from working for a tremendous coach and staff. I’m committed to the development of the current players that we have at South Carolina, and also working diligently to recruit future student-athletes with the character and integrity to represent the University and Gamecock basketball.”

“Coach Berry has been a huge help both to me personally, and also to our team,” rising senior forward Dominique Archie said. “He will do great in his new role.”

After serving as a reserve his first two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana, Berry sat out as a redshirt during the 2002-03 campaign in order to increase his playing time over his final two years. Berry helped the Lions to a 20-9 finish as SLU shared the Southland Conference regular-season championship with an 11-5 mark during his junior season. During his senior season, Berry helped lead SLU to the NCAA Tournament after going 24-9, including a 13-3 record in the SLC.