Winthrop stays in house, promotes Peele to top job

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Winthrop turned to assistant coach Randy Peele to be its new head coach Saturday to replace Gregg Marshall, who accepted the head coaching position at Wichita State.

Peele has been with the team the past four years -- some of the most successful years in the team's history.

The Eagles finished 29-5 this past season and became the first Big South men's basketball team to complete the regular season undefeated (14-0). Winthrop also won its first NCAA Tournament game this year, beating Notre Dame 74-64 on March 16.

Marshall left Winthrop after leading the Eagles to a 194-83 record and seven NCAA Tournament appearances in his nine years.

"Randy Peele has been an integral part in that success and we believe the future of Winthrop basketball will continue to flourish under his leadership," Winthrop athletic director Tom Hickman said in a news release Saturday.

The 46-year-old native of Norfolk, Va., has been key in recruiting many of the team's current players and has been actively involved in getting recruits for next season, Winthrop athletic department spokesman Jack Frost said Saturday evening.

"The players believe in him," Frost said.

Frost said Peele was a contender for the top job last year when Marshall briefly flirted with taking the top job at the College of Charleston.

Who will stay on as Peele's assistants and how much he will be paid will be announced Monday at a news conference at Winthrop Coliseum, Frost said.

Peele was the head coach at North Carolina Greensboro from 1995-99 and led the Spartans to a Big South Conference championship. He also spent four years as an assistant at Greensboro. Peele has been an assistant at Virginia Tech (1999-2002), Campbell (1988-91) Tennessee-Martin (1985-88) and St. Michael's College in Vermont (1983-85).

"What has been accomplished here in the last nine years is remarkable and just speaks volumes for Coach Marshall, the staff, the players and the administration," Peele said in the school's news release. "We will do everything possible to maintain the benchmark that has been set."