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Paris’ Contract Extended Through 2029-30 Season
Men's Basketball  . 

Paris’ Contract Extended Through 2029-30 Season

South Carolina Athletics

Naismith National Coach of the Year candidate has helped Gamecocks tie program record for wins with 26 this season

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees Governance Committee has approved the extension of head men’s basketball coach Lamont Paris’ contract through the 2029-30 season, it was announced today.

“Coaching at the University of South Carolina is such a great match for me, the fit, these players, the community, the other coaches.  I am very grateful for this opportunity,” said Paris.  “I am grateful to our Board of Trustees, to Ray Tanner, to President Amiridis and hopefully we can continue to grow this program for a long time. I’m also thankful to our great fans for all of their support. I’ve got a lot of pride in what we’ve done and what we’ve built. I’m incredibly excited to be the coach and represent this University, this athletic department and more specifically, this basketball team. It’s a thrill for me to be able to coach these guys. I love where I am. I’m really fortunate and blessed I get to do this for a profession.”

Paris, 49, just completed his second season guiding the Gamecock men’s basketball program.  He was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches and Associated Press this past season, guiding Carolina to a 25-6 overall and 13-5 Southeastern Conference regular season record.  With the Gamecocks’ win over Arkansas in the second round of the SEC Tournament Thursday afternoon, the team has now tied the 2016-17 Final Four squad for the most wins in program history in a single season with 26.

Paris and his staff helped engineer the greatest single season turnaround in program history with the team’s 14-win improvement from last season’s 11-21 mark and a T-2nd finish in the SEC. The 25 regular season wins are the most in program history. The 13th SEC wins are the second most in program history behind only the 1996-97 SEC Champion squad (went 15-1 to win first and only league crown in Gamecock history).

“When Lamont was hired two years ago, I said he was the right coach to lead our men’s basketball program,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner, “and, he has proven that to be true.  He has the energy, passion, commitment, and he is a developer of talent – a true coach and teacher.  I am glad he will remain at Carolina as our head men’s basketball coach.”

The Gamecocks won seven SEC games on the road this season, tying the 1996-97 team for the most SEC victories away from home in a single season. Carolina boasts an impressive 11-3 record in true road and neutral site games this season. That’s the best mark in the SEC and T-2nd best mark in the nation amongst the Power Six with No. 2/2 UCONN and No. 1/1 Houston. No. 3/3 Purdue has the best record in true road/neutral site games at 12-3.

South Carolina was 3-3 against AP Top-25 opponents this season. The Gamecocks are one of 18 teams in the country with multiple top-10 wins and one of five teams in the nation with a top-five true road win. Carolina beat No. 6/6 Kentucky 79-62 at home on Jan. 23 and No. 5/5 Tennessee, 63-59, in Knoxville on Jan. 30. Per Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the Gamecocks had defeated a pair of top-10 teams in a three-game stretch since 1968. Carolina’s win over the Vols was the team’s first AP Top-Five road victory since defeating No. 3 Kentucky, 72-66, on March 2, 1997.

The Gamecocks returned to the top-25 for the first time since 2017 back in Week 14 on Feb. 5. Carolina, who is ranked No. 15/16 this week, has remained there the past six weeks and will likely finish the regular season ranked in the AP Top-25 Poll for the first time since being ranked No. 14 in the final AP Poll of 1998. The Gamecocks have been ranked as high as No. 11 in both major polls this season, the highest top-25 mark for the program since being slotted 11th in Week 7 (Dec. 29) of the 1997-98 season.

“The Board of Trustees is proud of Coach Paris’s work with men’s basketball and the manner in which he leads at USC. We look forward to future seasons of excellence and integrity from his program,” said University Board Chair Thad Westbrook.

Paris was announced as Carolina men’s basketball coach on March 24, 2022.  He was the first African-American head coach in the history of the Gamecock men’s basketball program.

The Findlay, Ohio native, came to Carolina after five seasons as the head coach at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, coaching the Mocs to an 87-72 overall record (.547), including a 65-29 mark the last three seasons.

In 2021-22, he led the Mocs to their first Southern Conference title and NCAA berth since 2016. Chattanooga finished the season with a 27-8 mark. He is one of 20 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award, given by to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball.

In his 17 seasons as a collegiate assistant coach, teams associated with Paris were 497-217 (.696) with five conference titles and 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching two Final Fours.

“Coach Paris has proven to be a great addition to the Gamecock family and is bringing a renewed excitement to our men’s basketball program,” said USC President Michael Amiridis.  “Above all, he understands the importance of mentoring young student-athletes to become the best they can be – on and off the court.”

Paris came to Chattanooga after seven seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2010-17). The Badgers averaged 27 wins per year during his tenure. Wisconsin won a school-record 36 games in 2014-15 finishing as the national runner-up a year after reaching the Final Four in 2014 and also reached four NCAA Sweet 16s.

Prior to joining the Wisconsin staff, he was an assistant coach at Akron for five seasons (2005-10) under head coach Keith Drambrot. Paris was on the Zips staff in 2005-06 season when the squad achieved its first 20-win season since 1974-75, going 23-10. Akron won 20-or-more games in each of Paris’ years on the staff. The Zips were 2009 Mid-American Conference Champions and earned NIT bids in 2006 and 2008 and went to the CBI in 2010.

Paris also served as an assistant coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2001-04), DePauw (1998-2000) and his alma mater, College of Wooster (1997-98).

Paris is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Black Coaches Association. He was one of the five men’s assistant coaches selected to participate in the BCA’s “Achieving Coaching Excellence” program in 2007.

Paris earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from Wooster in 1996 and a master’s degree in recreation and sports management from Indiana State in 2000. Paris played four seasons for Wooster and was named the team’s MVP and captain in his senior season.

He was the team MVP and captain as a junior and senior at Wooster earning All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors both years. He helped the Scots to three trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament along with a couple of NCAC Championships.