Lamont Paris is building out his first staff as the head coach of the South Carolina men’s basketball program. The 47-year-old led the Chattanooga program for 5 seasons and was hired as the replacement for Frank Martin after leading the Mocs to the NCAA Tournament this past March.

And Paris’ first hire in Columbia has strong ties to the program’s past.

Carey Rich, who played 3 seasons for the Gamecocks in the mid-1990s after transferring from Western Carolina, has been named special assistant to the head coach. According to the university, Rich will see “heavy involvement in alumni relations, community outreach and recruiting efforts”.

“I’m very excited to have Carey joining my staff here at South Carolina,” Paris said in a statement released by the university on Thursday. “He is so connected and well-respected in our community and with basketball in the Palmetto State. This role is something that will evolve over time, but I’m excited to have him hit the ground running.”

A 2-year captain with the Gamecocks, Rich registered 4.30 assists per game, the 6th-highest total in program history.