Beaufort News

Cremins looking forward to his post-coaching days

One day Bobby Cremins will pick a spot on a Hilton Head Island beach and begin writing his book.

The stories of his playing days on the South Carolina basketball team for iconic coach Frank McGuire probably will be included, as will his time as a McGuire assistant. Launching a head coaching career in the mountains of Boone, N.C., a 19-year stint at Georgia Tech -- including a 48-hour break to coach the Gamecocks -- and, most recently, a six-year run with the College of Charleston are all topics likely to be covered in Cremins' pages.

But not soon.

"When I first left coaching, Hilton Head was a savior for me," said Cremins, who will turn 65 on July 4. "It gave me the peace and tranquility I needed. Right now, I still want to do some more work."

The longtime college basketball coach, who stepped down as Cougars coach earlier this year after suffering from exhaustion, said he is not done helping the schools he has been part of along the way. Cremins moved to Hilton Head after his tenure with Tech was done and plans to return to his home here when his employment with College of Charleston ends in July -- but not to relax.

He wants to be part of Georgia Tech opening its new basketball arena before next season. He wants to talk to new Gamecocks coach Frank Martin and watch as many games as he can. And he wants to help with the transition at College of Charleston, where Doug Wojcik has taken over as head coach.

Cremins will be in Columbia on May 14, at the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, to receive the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award and watch a new class be inducted.

Richardson, a Sumter native, played out his career as a New York Yankees great the same time Cremins was growing up in the Bronx.

"Mickey Mantle, Bobby Richardson -- they were all heroes of mine," Cremins said. "Bobby Richardson is one of the most classy human beings that ever lived. He is just a humble, tremendous person. To receive an award in his name is very meaningful to me."

Cremins will be honored at the banquet along with longtime Heritage tournament director Steve Wilmot, who will receive the Willie Jeffries Ambassador for Sports Award for his contributions to sports in the state. Wilmot has served as tournament director the past 15 years and was an assistant for more than a decade.

He helped guide the tournament through its sponsorship search in 2011. He sits on the board of the S.C. Junior Golf Foundation and the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the Ben Hogan Award selection committee to name the top collegiate golfer and is involved with the Savannah Harbor Foundation.

Cremins said his health had improved since he announced his leave of absence in January and that he hopes his old energy returns. He plans to participate in charity golf outings, including the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament at the end of August, and said he might also do some television work.

Coaching again appears a long shot.

"When I saw Larry Brown come back to coaching, I almost fainted," Cremins said. "I've been involved with three programs and they've had a lot of success. I think my time has come."

2012 S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame banquet

What: The 2012 Hall of Fame class will be inducted. Hilton Head Island resident and longtime college basketball coach Bobby Cremins and Heritage tournament director Steve Wilmot will be recognized with awards. Includes reception, dinner and a raffle.

When: May 14, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

Cost: Tickets for a table of eight are $500 and sponsorships can be purchased by calling the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame office at 803-779-0905.

2012 inductees: Clemson baseball coach Bill Wilhelm, former Augusta National Club Chairman Hootie Johnson, South Carolina football standout Duce Staley, former Gamecocks baseball coach June Raines, Clemson basketball standout Dale Davis, Spartanburg High's Stephen Davis, late NASCAR executive Jim Hunter and AAU legend Evelyn "Eckie" Jordan