Aric Samuel joined the Coker staff in July of 2013, serving as assistant men's basketball coach. He also runs the day-to-day operations of the Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center, a 71,000 square-foot athletics facility. He was promoted to head men's basketball coach in March of 2016.
In his three seasons as the right-hand man, Samuel helped guide the Cobras to 36 wins during that span and had four players named to the All-SAC team.
In his first year assisting the men, Samuel helped guide the Cobras to a record of 15-13. The Cobras made their fifth straight postseason appearance, advancing all the way to the semifinals of the SAC Men's Basketball Tournament. Individually, Julian Nelson received All-SAC Honorable Mention honors, Jonathon Gardner was a Capital One Academic All-District selection and Gardner, Gabriel Mens and Eren Moses were named to the NABC Honor Court. As a team, the Cobras recieved the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award.
Samuel comes to Coker after eight seasons as the head boys basketball coach for Hartsville High School, where he compiled a record of 125-47. He led the Red Foxes to back-to-back Class 3A state titles the past two seasons, with a 65-62 victory over Eastside High School in March that capped a 28-1 season in 2012-13.
In addition to his duties as coach at Hartsville, Samuel served as program director at the Hartsville YMCA. He developed workout regimens for members, implemented youth and adult sports programs, and was responsible for marketing throughout the community.
Prior to his time at Hartsville High, Samuel was head varsity coach for Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School in Neeses, S.C. He led the Trojans to two state title appearances, in 2002 and 2005, with the 2005 squad winning the 1A championship.
Samuel is a three-time High School Sports Report coach of the year and two-time Region 6 coach of the year. He's had players continue to the collegiate level, with Jaylen Shaw, who will attend the University of South Carolina on a basketball scholarship this fall, the most recent.
Samuel played basketball for South Carolina State and received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from SCSU in 1997. He resides in Hartsville with his wife, Brandi, and five children: Brandon Tyson, 15; Kevin Tyson, 14; Maniya Tyson, 11; Aric Samuel Jr., 5; and Jordan Samuel, 1.