Charlotte has removed the interim tag from Aaron Fearne’s title and promoted him to the team’s full-time coach, the school announced on Monday. Charlotte sits at 15-8 overall and 9-2 in AAC play in its inaugural season as a member of the conference.
Fearne has been the acting coach at the school since June 2023 after Ron Sanchez resigned from his post to take a job on Tony Bennett’s staff at Virginia just months before the start of the 2023-24 season.
“From the moment he took over the basketball program last summer, Aaron Fearne has demonstrated that he is the right man for this job,” Charlotte AD Mike Hill said in a statement. “In our first year in the AAC, he has our team competing for a league championship and has completely re-energized our fan base. The players believe in him and so do we. This is a great day for Niner Nation.”
The 49ers sit in a tie for second-place with FAU in the conference standings a game behind first-place USF heading into the final weeks of the regular season. Fearne guided Charlotte to its first eight-game conference winning streak in program history and knocked off its first-ranked opponent (No. 17 FAU) in 11 years.
The hot start and subsequent promotion are in stark contrast to expectations; the 49ers were projected to finish 13th in the preseason AAC poll.
Before being tabbed the interim coach at Charlotte, Fearne spent five seasons on the staff as an assistant coach. Previously, he spent nine seasons as the head man and eight seasons as an assistant coach with the Cairns Taipans of the Australian Basketball League. Fearne also coached as the coach of New Zealand’s U-19 National Team in 2018.
“I am beyond grateful to my family, the students, the fans, and the community that has rallied behind us over the past nine months,” Fearne said. “This all would not be possible without their support. I am looking forward to facing the challenges and successes that lie ahead together.”