Dustin Kerns just completed his first season, having taken over as PC’s 18th men’s basketball head coach on May 23, 2017.
In his first season PC finished with 11 wins, which is over double from the 2016-17 season and tied for its highest win total since earning 14 victories in 2011-12. It included a five-game winning streak, marking the first time since 2011 the Blue Hose had won five in a row. The 8-7 start by the Blue Hose was the best 15-game start since the 2011 season when PC also started 8-7. Reggie Dillard earned Big South All-Conference honors, with JC Younger picking up All-Academic accolades.
Kerns came to PC after seven seasons on the Terrier coaching staff and fourth as associate head coach. It was his second stint at Wofford, previously serving as an assistant coach from 2004-07. In the six seasons between, he was an assistant coach at Santa Clara.
At Wofford, Kerns helped lead the Terriers to back-to-back Southern Conference Tournament championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as a regular season title in 2014-15. Along with their two conference tournament titles, the Terriers made consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, which included a narrow 56-53 loss in 2015 to No. 5-seeded Arkansas in a game Wofford led for more than 20 minutes. The Terrier men’s basketball team has graduated 100 percent of its student-athletes every year Kerns has been affiliated with the program. As an assistant coach, he was part of wins against Villanova, Gonzaga, Purdue, NC State, Cincinnati, and Auburn.
During Kerns’ time at Wofford, the Terriers went 7-2 in the Southern Conference Tournament and finished the 2015 season with a school-record 28 wins, as awell as a final RPI ranking of 48. In four seasons as an Associate Head Coach, Wofford went 44-9 at home, 79-53 overall, and 57-25 in the league, including tournament games, finishing in the top four each season. He coached numerous All-Southern Conference selections, as well as three All-Freshmen Team honorees. In 2015 he signed Fletcher Magee who was named the 2016 Mid-Major National Player of the Year by College Court Report.
Kerns has received national recognition as one of college basketball’s top assistant coaches and recruiters. CoachStat.net ranked Kerns the No. 4 Low-Major Recruiter in the nation, as well as its No. 20 Mid-Major Assistant Coaches. CollegeInsider.com recently featured Kerns in its article “30 Assistants Ready to Run their own Programs.”
Kerns was an assistant coach for six seasons at Santa Clara University. During that time Santa Clara had the third most wins in the West Coast Conference behind Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s (CA). Kerns helped the Broncos post 26 victories in 2013, earning the CBI Post-season tournament title for the second time in three years. Santa Clara won its first CIT Post-Season Tournament in 2011, finishing with 24 wins.
Prior to becoming an assistant coach on Coach Keating’s staff Kerns served as Director of Basketball Operations at Santa Clara for one season. Kerns joined the Broncos in 2007.
Kerns also spent a season as a graduate assistant under then-head coach Buzz Peterson at Tennessee. The Vols earned a berth in the NIT that season. Kerns was camp and coaching clinic director during his time in Knoxville, while assisting with team scouting, compliance and academics. He received a Master’s of Science from Tennessee in 2004.
Kerns’ first job in college basketball was at Tennessee Tech, as he spent the 2002-03 season as the program’s Director of Basketball Operations. He assisted head coach Mike Sutton with all aspects of the program, including opponent scouting, on-campus recruiting, scheduling, film exchange and team academics.
Kerns is a 2002 graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a degree in secondary education. As an undergraduate, he worked as a student assistant for Tigers men’s basketball team under then-head coach Larry Shyatt, helping organize summer camps, while also assisting with the scout films. Kerns was hired to coach at the prestigious Michael Jordan Flight School three summers in a row during 2001-2003.
During his coaching career, Kerns has seen 28 players play profesisonally.
A Kingsport, Tennessee native, Kerns played at Dobyns-Bennett High School, which ranked first in the nation in all-time wins at the prep level.
Kerns is married to the former Brittany Wright and are the proud parents of Emory Sulianne, born in 2011, and Riggs Bellamy, born in 2017.