Camp Coaching Staff

Mark Vanderslice, Head Men's Basketball Coach

Mark Vanderslice wrapped up his fourth year as the head men's basketball coach at USC Aiken.

Vanderslice guided the Pacers to their first national ranking since the 2013-14 season and to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since that same year. He led USC Aiken to a 7-0 start as the team climbed all the way to No. 6 on Jan. 5. A month later, the squad was ranked as high as No. 4. Vanderslice coached a pair of all-region and all-conference standouts in Ty'lik Evans and Xzavier Barmore. Evans led the nation with a school and PBC-record 125 thefts. 

Vanderslice guided the program to its first postseason victory since the 2013-14 campaign with a resounding 89-79 win at rival Augusta in the PBC Tournament on Feb. 28, 2018. He coached a pair of all-conference student-athletes in first-team selection Doniel Dean and third-team honoree Markus Terry, who also garnered PBC all-tournament team accolades.  

Vanderslice was named the PBC Coach of the Year during his second year with USC Aiken after leading the squad to the third-best record in the league and one of the biggest turnarounds in school history. He tripled the program's win total from his first year and had USC Aiken on the verge of making the NCAA Tournament, garnering an 18-9 overall mark, including a 12-7 ledger in league play. He coached three all-conference student-athletes and had two of the highest-scoring games in the program's illustrious history. His team broke the school's scoring average (83.0 ppg) and led the PBC in made three-point field goals (250). His squad was also tenacious defensively, holding opponents to 42.5 percent shooting from the floor, which was second-best in the conference.   

During his first year, Vanderslice's team knocked off the PBC East and West Division leaders. He coached all-conference performer Arbry Butler. His nine blocks in a game made the top-10 list in school history.

Vanderslice came to USC Aiken after spending the last five years as the head coach at Louisburg Junior College in Louisburg, NC. He guided his team to a 152-20 record, including a 94-11 mark during conference play. Vanderslice led his program to a top-eight finish in the final national polls each season. During the 2012-13 season his team posted a 35-2 record, the most wins in school history and finished No. 1 in the final national polls.

During the 2010-11 campaign, he guided the program to a 21-0 mark during the conference portion of the schedule while coaching NJCAA first-team All-American Jeremy Atkinson.

Vanderslice coached 15 all-conference student-athletes and was the District 15 Coach of the Year three times. His team won five straight regular-season conference championships and notched three straight tournament championships.

Prior to his arrival at Louisburg Junior College, Vanderslice was an assistant coach at Furman from 2008-10. He was in charge of recruiting and scouted all opponents. Vanderslice was responsible for scouting reports and film breakdown for players. He also conducted individual workouts for his players.

Vanderslice was at Toledo from 2004-08. He was the Head of Basketball Operations from 2004-06 prior to serving as an assistant coach from 2006-08. He was responsible for recruiting and scouting opponents. He signed multiple three-star athletes during his time. Vanderslice helped guide the program to two West Division titles and the 2007 MAC title with a 14-2 mark. He also ran Toledo’s Team Basketball Camps. Vanderslice advised, tutored and monitored players with individual classes, helping the team have the No. 3 APR among Division I schools.

He was at Heidelberg from 2002-04 as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Vanderslice helped land the No. 1 recruiting class in the OAC during his second season. He conducted individual workouts for his players and assisted with practice while also assisting with in-game decisions and adjustments.

From 2000-02, Vanderslice was the Head of Basketball Operations at UNC Asheville. He was in charge of all student assistants and their jobs. Vanderslice prepared practice arrangements at home sites and managed all facets of exchanging DVD’s and videos of opponents’ game film. He produced team highlight tapes for recruits and assessed player profiles of potential recruits.

Known as a strong recruiter and tough defensive-minded coach, Vanderslice sports a 192-61 overall record as a head coach (75.9 percent). He has coached 21 all-conference performers, along with a pair of All-Americans in his eight years as a head coach. Vanderslice has four Coach of hte Year honors and has experience at Division I, Division II, Division III and Junior College levels. 

He earned his bachelor of science in business administration in 2002 from UNC Asheville where he was a member of the men’s basketball program. Vanderslice earned his MBA from Heidelberg in 2004.

He is married to the former Jennifer Steele. The couple has two daughters - Scottlyn and Dylan and the family resides in Aiken. 
 

TJ Knight, Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

T.J. Knight is in his second year as USC Aiken assistant men’s basketball coach.

A native of Lexington, S.C., Knight was a four-year standout at Lander. During his time with the Bearcats, Knight saw action in 90 contests, earning 22 starts.

A two-year all-academic team selection, Knight captained the squad as a senior. He made the Dean’s List three times and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial services in May 2020.