Furman University has hired CSU recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Niko Medved as its next head coach, sources confirmed Wednesday night.
Medved sent out a mass text message to members of the CSU basketball team to announce his move.
“He meant everything to us. Someone that I can talk to whenever, someone that he could help me on and off the court,” CSU sophomore guard Daniel Bejarano said.
“He was the one that recruited me, he was the reason why I came to CSU, and he was the only (coach) here to leave out of everybody, but he means the world to me.”
Medved will assume head coaching duties for Furman immediately, replacing former Paladins coach Jeff Jackson, who resigned on March 22.
Jackson posted an 85-131 mark during his seven seasons at Furman while competing in the Southern Conference.
Medved has some familiarity with the Furman basketball program, as he served as an assistant coach with the team for seven seasons prior to his time at CSU and served as interim head coach for the team in the spring of 2006.
When Medved left Furman in 2007, he helped guide the program to four winning seasons in his last five years with the team.
CSU hired Furman back in 2007 as an assistant coach for then-head coach Tim Miles. Medved served the Rams in that capacity until the beginning of this season, when the university announced he would become the recruiting coordinator for the team.
While recruiting for CSU, Medved has been credited with being instrumental in signing former Rams Andy Ogide, Pierce Hornung, Greg Smith, Colton Iverson and Bejarano among others.
Now Medved will try to turn around a program at Furman that has slipped in recent years, the Paladins have won just 23 games in the Southern Conference through the last three seasons combined.
“Niko deserves to head coach,” Bejarano said.
“I know he’s been probably trying to get a head (coaching job) for the longest time, every assistant coach wants to be a head coach and I think Niko’s a good fit. He’s a good guy, he wants just to help, he wants to see guys succeed and go far in life so I think he’s a perfect fit.”
Assistant Sports Editor Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org