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Former Wisconsin Basketball Assistant Named SEC Coach of the Year



Former Wisconsin Badgers assistant basketball coach Lamont Paris
Jan 26, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach Lamont Paris directs Wisconsin Badgers guard Zak Showalter (3) during the game with the Indiana Hoosiers at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Indiana 82-79 (OT). Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Former Wisconsin Badgers assistant basketball coach Lamont Paris has made quite the name since accepting a promotion at Chattanooga and then taking over the South Carolina Gamecocks program.

On Tuesday, Paris earned the prestigious title of SEC Coach of the Year for the 2023-24 season after leading them to a 25-6 record. He is also the first Gamecocks coach to win the award.

In just his second year as South Carolina’s head coach, Paris engineered a staggering turnaround. The Gamecocks won 14 more games than in his first season when they went 11-21. They also finished second in the SEC.

According to Kenpom, the former Wisconsin Badgers coach improved South Carolina’s adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency from 205 and 226 to 44 and 46, respectively.

Lamont Paris Could Become Popular Target During the Coaching Carousel 

Paris’s coaching journey bears testament to his exceptional knowledge and ability to build relationships, having honed his skills as part of the Wisconsin basketball programs coaching fraternity from 2010 to 2017.

During his tenure under the tutelage of Badgers coaches Bo Ryan and Greg Gard, Paris contributed significantly to Wisconsin’s storied legacy, notably during the program’s peak from 2013 to 2017.

He then took the head coach role at Chattanooga in 2017, where Paris continued to carve a path of success, leading the team to an impressive 87-72 record over five seasons. Paris led a remarkable turnaround at Chattanooga, elevating the team from a 10-23 debut season to a thriving 27-8 record and conference championship in his final year.

The parallels between Paris’s tenure at Chattanooga and his current stint at South Carolina are striking, underscoring his growing reputation as a program builder. You can bet other schools (like Ohio State) are taking notice — which means the South Carolina athletic department is likely working up an extension.

Presently, Paris’s South Carolina squad holds the enviable distinction of being ranked No. 15 in the nation. Projections place them as a 5-seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, which is marginally better than where Gard currently has Wisconsin basketball.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.