Dustin Kerns, who just completed his second season as head men’s basketball coach at Presbyterian College, has accepted the same position at Appalachian State, it was announced Thursday afternoon by the Mountaineers. The 18th coach in PC men’s basketball history Kerns becomes App State’s 22nd. A national search for PC’s next head coach will begin immediately.
“I’ll be forever grateful and indebted to Presbyterian College, the community and alumni,” said Kerns. “ I feel like the program has made great strides in the past two years, but that the best is still yet to come. I want to personally thank President Bob Staton for giving me and my family this opportunity and to Danny Sterling and his staff for their continued support. The time at PC is now and this place has an exciting future. There won’t be a bigger fan cheering on the Blue Hose than me. Go Blue Hose!”
Kerns took a team that won five games the year before he was hired to a team that recorded its most wins in Division I history. The 20 wins were the most since 2011-12 when the Blue Hose finished with 14. PC’s nine conference wins tied for the most in Division I, while the 12 home wins eclipsed the old DI mark of nine.
“Coach Kerns did an outstanding job as head coach while at PC,” said PC Director of Athletics Danny Sterling. “In just a short time, he represented PC with excellence in every way, and we will always be indebted to him for what he has been able to accomplish here. He laid an impressive and solid foundation for a strong future and we wish him only the best at Appalachian State.”
“We’re excited for the future of Presbyterian College men's basketball as we have an outstanding group of young men coming off a tremendous and historic season and who are already preparing for what should be another great year.”
The Blue Hose played in their first Division I postseason tournament this season, taking part in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Blue Hose earned wins over Seattle and Robert Morris, advancing all the way to the tournament quarterfinals.
The 2018-19 team broke several PC DI season records, including scoring, rebounding, assists, and scoring margin. The Blue Hose led the league in assists, assist/turnover ratio, and were third in scoring and scoring margin. In the national statistics PC finished top 10 in assist/turnover ratio, three-pointers per game, three-pointers made, and in turnovers.
Under Kerns several 2018-19 players earned Big South All-Conference distinctions, with Adam Flagler earning Freshman of the Year Honors, becoming the second Blue Hose to pick up the award in PC’s Division I history. Davon Bell was named to the All-Conference second team, while Francois Lewis was named Honorable Mention. Flagler and Cory Hightower were named to the All-Freshmen team, with JC Younger getting a nod on the All-Academic Team. The five honorees were the most in PC Division I history.
In Kerns’ 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 Younger picking up All-Academic accolades.
Kerns is a 2002 graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a degree in secondary education. He is married to the former Brittany Wright and they are the proud parents of Emory Sulianne, born in 2011, and Riggs Bellamy, born in 2017.