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Aaron Fearne named 14th head coach of Charlotte men’s basketball

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Charlotte 49ers athletic director Mike Hill announced Monday the official appointment of Aaron Fearne as the 14th head coach of the men’s basketball team.

Fearne, who has served as interim head coach since June 2023, will be available to media at noon on Tuesday, February 13.

“From the moment he took over the basketball program last summer, Aaron Fearne has has demonstrated that he is the right man for the job,” Hill said. “In our first year in the AAC, he had our team competing for a league championship and completely revitalized our base. fans. The players believe in him and so do we. This is a great day for Niner Nation.”

UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said, “Coach Fearne has done a phenomenal job since taking on the role of interim head coach. In just a few months, Coach Fearne, his staff and his players have captured the hearts of Niner students, alumni and fans around the world. We look forward to a bright future under his leadership. »

Under Fearne, the 49ers went 15-8 overall and 9-2 in their first season in the American Athletic. Conference, thanks in large part to their formidable defense, which is ranked 24th nationally in fewest points allowed.

“It’s an incredible honor to lead Charlotte Basketball,” Fearne said. “I thank the players and staff for believing in me last summer and wanting me as head coach and I am honored that Mike, Chancellor Gaber and the board believe in me as well.

Highlights of the season so far include:
● The first eight-game conference winning streak in program history.
● A historic victory over No. 17 Florida Atlantic, 70-68, first triumph against a ranked opponent. at home since 2010 and first in the general ranking since 2013.

Under Fearne’s leadership, the community and student body rallied behind the team, highlighted by a sellout crowd of 8,201 at Halton Arena for the rivalry game against ECU on Feb. 3, the first full house in 11 years. The day before the match, students created Fearneville, camping out to secure prime spots in the crowded student section.

“I am beyond grateful to my family, students, fans and community who rallied behind us over the last nine months,” Fearne added. “All of this wouldn’t be possible without their support. I look forward to meeting the challenges and successes that lie ahead together. »

Projected to finish 13th out of 14 teams in the AAC, the Niners defied expectations, holding the first place for almost three weeks. Beyond halfway through the conference slate, Charlotte sits in second place, just one game out of the lead. Additionally, Fearne had the best 23-game start for a first-year head coach in Charlotte since Bobby Lutz in 1998-99.

Fearne was appointed as interim head coach on 7 June 2023, following a successful tenure as head coach Charlotte assistant coach for five years and was promoted to associate head coach ahead of the 2022-23 season. During his tenure as associate head coach, Charlotte achieved significant milestones, including 22 wins, the most since the 2000-01 season, and the program’s first postseason tournament title with a victory in the CBI tournament.

Prior to joining Charlotte, Fearne spent nine seasons as head coach and eight seasons as head coach. assistant coach of the Cairns Taipans of the National Basketball League of Australia, leading the team to the NBL finals twice and winning Coach of the Year honors in 2015. Additionally, he was head coach of the New Zealand U-19 national team in 2018.

The 49ers will return to Halton Arena on Thursday, February 15 to take on UTSA.

For further information or interview requests, please contact Ja’Shawn Steward-Johnson at jstew105@charlotte.edu.

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