OKATIE, S.C. (WSAV) – USC-Beaufort will not take the basketball court until the 2023-’24 season, but the Sand Sharks are already making significant moves.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Sand Sharks formally introduced their first pair of basketball coaches. Ron Fudala will lead the men’s basketball program, while Sharon Versyp will be in charge of the women’s basketball program.

Fudala comes to USC-Beaufort from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he’s been an associate head coach for the last four years. While there, Fudala has helped the Crimson Hawks to three straight conference titles, both in the regular season and in the PSAC Tournament.

The opportunity to start a program from the ground up was an appealing one for Fudala.

“Nobody ever wrote a book on how to build a program from scratch,” Fudala said. “You’re taking everything you’ve learned from the time you were a player, to a grad assistant, to an assistant and really pooling all those experiences together and putting your imprint on something you believe can be truly special.”

Sharon Versyp joins Fudala as the women’s basketball coach. She spent 15 years as head coach of the Boilermakers, in which she took the team to the NCAA Tournament nine times.

Even when she was coaching Purdue, Versyp would frequently visit the Lowcountry.

“I’ve had a lot of friends and family that have lived in this area so I’m kind of familiar,” Versyp said. “I’ve driven past this out on 278 a couple times in these past few years. Sometimes the stars align and it all comes together.”

The first game is far away, but Versyp is already envisioning what it will be like.

“That’s what’s going to make me the happiest is when people are in the seats. We’re having great students come through and great citizens and the basketball will come when you have all those other things.”

“But I want to see the faces of young people when they step on this court and there’s 950 fans. That’s what it’s all about and it’s a great culture for this university.”

USC-Beaufort is in the process of moving from NAIA to the Division II Peach Belt Conference. They are on pace to be a full member in fall of 2025.