Tim Carter arrived Wednesday morning for team practice at the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial as the South Carolina State men’s basketball coach.
After heading home following practice and having a deep conversation with his wife, he had made up his mind to end his six-year tenure with the Bulldogs. Later that afternoon, Carter had submitted his resignation from the program, effective immediately.
“It was just time,” Carter said in a telephone interview Wednesday night.
Carter finished with a record of 67-113 overall, 32-56 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. With one year left on a contract extension signed in 2010, he leaves a program mired in a 24-game conference losing streak and a loss away this Saturday at Savannah State from tying a school record for consecutive defeats (14) set last season.
The all-time winningest coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio, where he led the Roadrunners to two NCAA appearances and 160 victories in 11 seasons, Carter arrived in Orangeburg in 2007 looking to revive a program coming off two straight losing seasons under Ben Betts and Jamal Brown.
After going 13-20 overall and 7-9 in conference play in his first season, Carter guided S.C. State to back-to-back winning seasons. The Bulldogs went 10-6 in conference play both of those seasons and the 2009-10 squad advanced to the MEAC tournament final for the first time since 2003.
The winning touch faded over Carter’s final three seasons. After a 10-22 campaign to conclude the 2010-11 campaign, S.C. State experienced the worst showing in program history by going 5-26 overall and 0-16 in the MEAC for the first time ever.
An overhaul of the roster during the off-season, including the edition of nine new players, did little to improve the team’s fortunes. In Carter’s final game as head coach, a 57-45 loss to Howard, the Bulldogs were outscored 18-8 over the final 7:01 to drop to 4-17 overall, 0-8 in the MEAC.
Currently, only winless Grambling (.3151) has a lower Ratings Performance Index rating among 347 NCAA Division I teams than S.C. State (.3451). Last season, the Bulldogs also had the second worst RPI ranking behind Binghamton.
Despite the team’s showing, Carter had nothing but praise for his players, who continued to put forth their effort on a daily basis.
“I told my players in 18 years as a head coach that I’ve never been around a greater set of guys.”
He was also appreciative of the professional manner in which the university has handled his resignation.
“We thank Coach Carter for his service as head men’s basketball coach at S.C. State and wish him well in his future endeavors,” S.C. State athletics director Charlene Johnson said in a press release.
Associate head coach Murray Garvin will assume the head coaching duties until further notice, Johnson also said in the release.
Contact the writer: email@example.com or by calling 803-533-5547. For more information about S.C. State athletics, read Grant’s blog “Following the Bulldogs” at thebulldogzone.com. Follow Grant on Twitter@TandDSports.