Harris Teeter Athletes of the Week
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Mark Byington is in his sixth season as the top assistant to head coach Bobby Cremins and ninth overall at the College of Charleston. He was appointed interim head coach on Jan. 27, 2012.

Recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in the country by his peers in a national league-by-league poll compiled by CBSSports.com senior college basketball writer Jeff Goodman last fall, Byington was tabbed the No. 1 assistant in the Southern Conference and was joined on the coaching short list by Jeff Battle of Wake Forest (ACC), Mike Hopkins of Syracuse (Big East), Mark Montgomery of Michigan State (Big Ten), Russell Springmann of Texas (Big 12), Dedrique Taylor of Arizona State (Pac-10) and Larry Shyatt of Florida (SEC).

"Mark is an excellent basketball coach and X's and O's man," Cremins said. "He's a hard worker and is destined to become a very successful head coach in the near future."

Byington is in charge of the development of the team's guards and wing players. In the Cremins Era, CofC has become one of the top mid-major programs in the country and an annual contender in the SoCon. He previously served as an assistant coach to former CofC head coach Tom Herrion for three seasons from 2002-04 and 2005-06.

Over the last six years, the Cougars have made five postseason appearances including a memorable run to the NIT quarterfinals in 2011. CofC has also made three Southern Conference championship game appearances, compiled 125 victories, four 20-win seasons, a SoCon regular-season championship title, the program's first NBA Draft pick since 1997 in current Los Angeles Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock and three consecutive postseason tournament berths.

Byington's coaching dossier also includes tenures in the ACC at Virginia and as an assistant coach for one of the top prep schools in the nation in Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) in 2001-02. He served as the director of basketball operations for the Cavaliers during the 2004-05 season and earned his master's degree in sports psychology from Virginia in December of 2003. Byington also spent the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 basketball seasons as a graduate student manager at UVA.

A 1998 graduate of UNC Wilmington, Byington earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and was a three-year starter on the men's basketball team earning second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-CAA Defensive Team honors his senior year. He averaged 14 points a game that season and helped lead the Seahawks to the first round of the NIT against Wake Forest. A two-time CAA All-Academic selection, Byington scored more than 1,000 points during his career.

Byington was a high school basketball standout at Salem High School. He was named Player of the Year in the state of Virginia as a high school senior, leading Salem to the state championship title. He also earned honorable mention All-America recognition and was a two time first-team All-State selection. Following his senior season, he was chosen Most Valuable Player of the Virginia High School League All-Star Game.

A native of Salem, Va., Byington married the former Christy Masters on May 18, 2007.  The couple has one son, Hunter Chase (4), and reside in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Byington's father-in-law, Ernie Masters, and brother-in-law, Rob Masters, played for the Cougars from 1968-69 and 2001-03 respectively. 

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