HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University athletic director Dan Hauser announced Thursday that men’s basketball head coach Scott Cherry has signed a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2019-2020 season.
The architect of four straight Big South regular season championship teams, Cherry has led the Panthers to four consecutive postseason appearances and 44 wins over the past two seasons. During the last four campaigns, HPU leads the Big South in league victories (50) and league winning percentage (.735).
HPU joins Kansas, Gonzaga and Stephen F. Austin as the only programs in the nation to have won regular season league titles in each of the past four seasons.
“I am thrilled to announce this extension for Scott,” athletic director Dan Hauser said. “He has built an outstanding championship culture here at HPU while putting our program in truly elite company. That level of achievement is matched in the classroom, where 100 percent of his student-athletes have graduated over his seven seasons. This is a program on the rise, and under Scott’s leadership, High Point University is poised for even greater success in the coming years.”
During the 2015-16 campaign, HPU compiled yet another championship season, claiming the Big South regular season crown with 13 league wins, including a school-record seven coming away from the Millis Center. High Point won 21 games and in the process clinched back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since 1994-95. With the 13 league victories, High Point also became the first program in Big South history to win 12+ conference games in four-straight seasons. The Panthers advanced to the NIT for the second time in the past three years.
Cherry led the Purple & White to the first postseason victory in program history during the 2015 CIT. During that season, the Panthers won a Div. I record 23 games, including 13 league contests, and captured the Rainbow Classic title to open the season in Hawai’i.
“I am honored and blessed to be the head men’s basketball coach at High Point University,” Cherry said. “I want to thank Dr. Qubein, Dan Hauser and our community for the support and the belief in me to achieve more milestones with this program. My family and I love High Point and we look forward to building on four straight regular season championships with NCAA Tournament appearances.”
In seven seasons at High Point University, Cherry has compiled a 117-102 overall record and a 75-47 Big South mark with the Panthers. HPU went 77-50 overall and 50-18 in the Big South in the last four seasons.
Cherry has churned out a number of the conference’s best players during his tenure, highlighted by two time All-American John Brown, who in 2016 became the first Big South player ever to be named the league’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Brown – a member of the 2016 Julius Erving Award Watch List – was part of a four-member senior class in 2016 that graduated as the all-time winningest class in program history, with 77 victories in four seasons. That group included 1,000-point scorers Lorenzo Cugini and second team All-Big South pick Adam Weary.
The team has received national exposure like never before under Cherry’s watch. Over the past two seasons, HPU has appeared on the ESPN Family of Networks 20 times, including multiple appearances on ESPNU and ESPN2. The Panthers have been featured in Sports Illustrated and in articles on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, CBSSports.com, NBCSports.com, Deadspin, NCAA.com and SBNation.
Cherry has created a pipeline to the pros for HPU student-athletes, with a record number of Panthers playing professional basketball in the U.S. and abroad over the past few seasons. Eugene Harris (’10) suits up for KTE-Duna Aszfalt in Hungary, while Tehran Cox (’11) is playing professionally in Libya. Their former teammate, Corey Law (’12), has put together an electric career with the Harlem Globetrotters, appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter and Good Morning America over the past year.
HPU’s 3-point king, Nick Barbour (’12), most recently played with the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League and is continuing his career overseas.
In addition, former HPU guard Devante Wallace (’15) recently wrapped up his rookie year with WBC Raiffeisen Wels in Austria and ranked second on the team with 13.3 points/game while shooting 44.7 percent from long distance. Cugini recently signed with SAM Basket Massagno in Switzerland, while Brown just finished a stint with the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Summer League and will soon sign his first professional contract.
Cherry welcomes a strong incoming class for the 2016-17 season, during which the Panthers will look to win a fifth-straight Big South title and advance to the NCAA Tournament.