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Basketball: Boynton is final addition to Horn's staff

After stocking his staff with coaches he brought from Western Kentucky, new South Carolina coach Darrin Horn found an assistant with South Carolina ties for his final hire.

Mike Boynton, the point guard the last time the Gamecocks made the NCAA tournament in 2004, is returning to Columbia as Horn’s third assistant. He joins the Western Kentucky trio of Scott Cherry, Cypheus Bunton and director of basketball operations Neill Berry on Horn’s inaugural USC staff.

Boynton, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who played for the Gamecocks from 2000-04, has been an assistant at three instate schools since leaving USC — Furman, Coastal Carolina and Wofford, where he was an associate head coach under Mike Young last season.

“No one could bring more love and passion for the Gamecocks than Michael. He not only played here, but he has recruited the state and truly wants to be part of our program,” Horn said Monday. “He was a key player here the last time the program was where we wanted it to be — in the NCAA tournament.”

Boynton played in 125 games at USC, the fourth most in school history, and started 32 games for Dave Odom in 2003-04 when the Gamecocks made the NCAA field. He won an SEC post-graduate scholarship for his community service work.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to rejoin the Gamecock basketball community under coach Horn and help bring the program back to where it was when I was a player,” Boynton said in a release.

Boynton, 26, is the latest addition to a staff that does not include a coach older than 36. The 35-year-old Horn downplayed the group’s youthfulness.

“I think that’s all relative,” he said. “Age is not necessarily a prerequisite for competence. We’ve had quite a bit of success doing things the way we do them.”

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.