BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The man who has topped UAB fans’ lists of desired candidates to take over the men’s basketball program for years is making that dream a reality.
Andy Kennedy has agreed to become the Blazers’ next coach, according to several reports Thursday. He takes over for Rob Ehsan, who compiled a 76-57 record in four years at the helm of the program. Evan Daniels of 247Sports reported that Kennedy’s deal with the school lasts six years.
Kennedy has spent the last two seasons as a color commentator for ESPN and the SEC Network. Before that, he was the head coach at Ole Miss for more than a decade, logging a record of 245-156 and qualifying for two NCAA Tournaments over 12 seasons. The highlight of his tenure in Oxford came in 2013, when his Rebels won the SEC Tournament and upset 5-seed Wisconsin in the first round of the Big Dance.
It’s a homecoming for Kennedy, one of the greatest players in Blazers program history. He transferred to UAB after one season at NC State and immediately started lighting up the Sun Belt conference; in three seasons under legendary coach Gene Bartow from 1988-91, Kennedy averaged 18.8 points per game and drilled 318 3-pointers (more than three per game). Kennedy’s 1,787 points in just three seasons ranks second on UAB’s all-time scoring leaderboard.
Kennedy began his coaching career in Mobile, as an assistant at South Alabama. After one season with the Jaguars, he returned to his alma mater and served as an assistant under Murry Bartow — Gene’s son — for five seasons. Kennedy then joined the staff at Cincinnati, and after four seasons as an assistant, took over the program in 2005 following the resignation of Bob Huggins. Kennedy led the Bearcats to a 21-13 record and a spot in the NIT in his lone season as the team’s head coach.
In his first season at Ole Miss, Kennedy earned SEC Coach of the Year honors after leading the Rebels to a seven-win improvement and a co-championship in the SEC West. Kennedy racked up 245 wins, the most in program history.
Kennedy looks to lead the Blazers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015.
Come back to this story for updates on UAB’s hiring of Andy Kennedy.
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