BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Andy Kennedy has been named the seventh head coach of the University of Alabama at Birmingham men’s basketball program, Director of Athletics Mark Ingram announced Friday.
Pending approval by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, Kennedy will return to his alma mater where he is the second leading scorer in program history. A two-time SEC Coach of the Year and winningest coach in the University of Mississippi history, Kennedy most recently coached at Ole Miss from 2006-2018, before spending the last two years as a commentator for ESPN and the SEC Network.
Kennedy has signed a six-year contract which goes through the 2025-26 season.
UAB released this video welcoming Kennedy back to Birmingham:
“Andy is a proven winner both as a player and a coach, and we are elated to have him lead our men’s basketball program,” said Ingram. “He helped build UAB basketball’s proud tradition as one of the best to ever play here, and I am confident he will elevate the program to new heights as our coach. Andy will add to the growing momentum of our university and city as a whole. I want to thank President Watts, the UA System and Board of Trustees for their tremendous support in bringing Coach Kennedy to UAB.”
Kennedy experienced unprecedented success with the Rebels during his tenure in Oxford, securing a school record 245 career victories. Ole Miss captured the SEC Tournament title in 2013 with a 27-9 record, and Kennedy led the Rebels to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2013 and 2015.
In 12 seasons at Ole Miss, Kennedy guided the Rebels to 20 or more wins nine times and ranks top 20 in SEC history for career wins. He also spent one season (2005-06) as the head coach at Cincinnati and led the Bearcats to a 21-13 record. Prior to Cincinnati, Kennedy was an assistant coach at UAB from 1996 to 2001.
“I would like to commend Director of Athletics Mark Ingram and his staff on a successful process to name Andy Kennedy our men’s basketball coach,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “UAB is committed to excellence in everything we do, and I know Coach Kennedy – as a UAB alum and former Blazer athlete – understands that culture and that expectation as well as anyone. UAB Athletics and UAB Basketball have a bright future.”
Kennedy played at UAB from 1988-91 and holds multiple school records. In just three seasons, he scored 1,787 points – the second most in school history – and also holds the school record for career 3-point field goals made (318) and attempted (728), 3-point field goal percentage (.437), free throw percentage (.872) and highest single season scoring average (21.8 ppg in 1990-91).
Additionally, he holds UAB’s record for most points scored by a sophomore (603) and by a senior (676), most career 20+ point games (43), most career 30+ point games (7) along with the most points scored in a single game (41 vs. Saint Louis on Jan. 13, 1991).
Kennedy was named First Team All-Sun Belt as a senior in 1990-91, as well as Second Team All-Sun Belt as a junior in 1989-90.
“I am blessed to be able to return to my alma mater, in a city that I love, to lead this storied basketball program,” Kennedy said. “I want to thank Dr. Watts and Mark Ingram for believing in me and affording me this tremendous opportunity. In 1977, when Gene Bartow came to the Magic City to start UAB Athletics, he did so with a vision to create a nationally relevant basketball program. It is now my mission to restore this program back to its rightful place on the college basketball landscape.”
A native of Louisville, Mississippi, Kennedy and his wife Kimber have two daughters.