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Charleston Southern hires ex-Radford baseball coach Karl Kuhn as assistant

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Karl Kuhn will be coaching in the Big South Conference next spring after all.

Charleston Southern University announced Wednesday that it has hired Kuhn, formerly the head baseball coach at Big South rival Radford University, as its new pitching coach.

Radford announced on June 3 that Kuhn, who steered the Highlanders the past three seasons, had resigned. He had five years left on his contract.

The Roanoke Times reported three months ago that Kuhn was the subject of an investigation being conducted by Radford University’s human resources department and the university’s office of institutional equity, according to two people who were interviewed by the school. One of those two people had said he was told by investigators that the inquiry was in response to new allegations involving Kuhn related to this year. But he was told that the panel also was interested in learning about Kuhn’s actions at Radford in prior years.

Thirteen members of the 2021 team complained about Kuhn in April 2021 to officials of the Radford athletic department, seven players who were in that meeting told The Roanoke Times last year. Players shared their stories of what they characterized as mental, verbal and physical abuse during that April 2021 meeting.

The RU investigation and the Kuhn resignation also came one year after former players complained about Kuhn to The Roanoke Times. According to 2021 phone interviews by The Roanoke Times with 11 ex-Radford players who were on the team during the 2019-20 and/or 2020-21 school years, Kuhn created what they described as an atmosphere of mental and verbal abuse that occasionally turned physical. But the university administration stood by Kuhn last year.

Kuhn will now be working for Charleston Southern coach Marc MacMillan, whose team went 24-30 overall and 13-11 in the Big South this year.

Charleston Southern athletic director Jeff Barber, MacMillan and Kuhn could not be reached for comment Thursday.

MacMillan said in Wednesday’s news release that he has known Kuhn for almost 20 years.

Kuhn spent 16 seasons as the University of Virginia’s pitching coach before being hired as Radford’s head coach in August 2019.

Brian Hemphill, who was the president of Radford University when Kuhn was hired, left Radford last summer to take the same position at Old Dominion.

Hemphill praised Kuhn in Charleston Southern’s news release Wednesday, calling him a “dear friend” and an “incredible person who is driven by his family values.”

The Charleston Southern news release also featured quotes of praise from UVa coach Brian O’Connor, two former UVa pitchers and the parent of a former UVa pitcher.

But the news release did not contain any quotes from current Radford officials, current or former Radford players, or parents of current or former Radford players.

When Kuhn resigned, the Radford press release at that time stated that “according to Kuhn, he has accepted an opportunity to consult on an open-ended contract with a private entity.” That press release quoted Kuhn as saying that “going forward, this is an opportunity to be part of baseball on a broader scale but also ‘catch up’ with my family.”

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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