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Ole Miss introduces Kermit Davis as men's basketball coach

He takes over for Andy Kennedy.

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 11:32 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Kermit Davis was comfortable at Middle Tennessee, but after 16 seasons he was ready for the challenge of leading a program in the Southeastern Conference.

The 58-year-old has been given that opportunity at Ole Miss, where he was introduced as coach on Monday. The introduction came less than 24 hours after Middle Tennessee fell to Louisville in the second round of the NIT.

"It was just one of those things that I knew it was the right place for me," Davis said.

Davis — a Leakesville, Mississippi, native — replaces Andy Kennedy, who coached Ole Miss for 12 seasons and was the winningest coach in program history before he resigned with two weeks left in a disappointing season.

Davis will earn a base salary of $2.5 million annually on a four-year contract, which is the longest allowed by state law. He can earn incentives for accomplishments like boosting average attendance and conference championships.

Middle Tennessee became one of the best mid-majors in the nation under Davis' guidance. In his 11th season, Davis led the Blue Raiders back to the NCAA Tournament after a 12-year absence. The Blue Raiders had upset wins in the NCAA Tournament in both 2016 and 2017, beating Michigan State and Minnesota, respectively.

He is taking over a program at Ole Miss that last made the tournament in 2015. Ole Miss is coming off a 12-20 season and finished last in the SEC with a 5-13 record.

"We're not going to have eight or nine years (of rebuilding) here," Davis said. "We've got to improve those (returning) guys. There's talent in that locker room. We've got to individually get their development to go up."

Maybe the most notable portion of Davis' contract is the bump in assistant pay. The salary pool Davis will have to work with has been pushed to $900,000, and two of those positions have already been filled.

Middle Tennessee assistants Win Case and Ronnie Hamilton will come with Davis to Ole Miss. Davis said the third assistant position could be filled by a current member of the Ole Miss staff or he could open up the spot for a national search.

Davis has some experience in the SEC. He was the associate head coach at LSU for five seasons under then-coach John Brady before taking the Middle Tennessee job in 2002.

Davis' father, Kermit Sr., coached at Mississippi State from 1970-1977. Davis played for the Bulldogs and served as a graduate assistant there.

"Nobody wants to beat Mississippi State's tail more than Kermit Davis," Davis said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 63444

Reported Deaths: 1804
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5329110
DeSoto338727
Madison232460
Harrison222833
Rankin216830
Jackson206338
Jones180457
Forrest165353
Washington152433
Lauderdale135488
Lee127430
Neshoba123288
Lamar114613
Oktibbeha106036
Lowndes99932
Bolivar98732
Warren97630
Scott96219
Panola93611
Sunflower92623
Copiah92426
Lafayette88512
Leflore86660
Holmes85148
Pike84632
Grenada81621
Yazoo79311
Leake77125
Lincoln75641
Pontotoc7527
Wayne73621
Simpson72328
Monroe71650
Coahoma67710
Tate66524
Marion62519
Covington60112
Adams58725
Marshall5858
Winston58415
George5495
Union53814
Newton52611
Attala50224
Pearl River49637
Tallahatchie49610
Walthall46318
Chickasaw44319
Noxubee42611
Claiborne40113
Jasper3859
Smith38513
Calhoun3819
Clay37413
Alcorn3634
Prentiss3516
Hancock34414
Tishomingo3394
Itawamba31710
Tippah31612
Lawrence3155
Yalobusha31310
Clarke31025
Montgomery2973
Tunica2926
Humphreys27411
Carroll24811
Quitman2331
Greene23211
Kemper22715
Perry2267
Jefferson Davis2146
Amite2116
Webster20112
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson18813
Sharkey1831
Stone1593
Benton1300
Choctaw1294
Franklin1172
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12039228
Mobile9170197
Montgomery6305147
Madison508227
Tuscaloosa398466
Baldwin326323
Shelby307532
Marshall298433
Unassigned281255
Lee251940
Morgan224315
Etowah195728
DeKalb171813
Elmore162637
Calhoun159012
Walker147464
Houston132712
Dallas129423
Russell12471
St. Clair123612
Limestone120813
Franklin120620
Cullman115711
Colbert110712
Lauderdale109512
Autauga103020
Escambia97915
Talladega92713
Jackson8704
Chambers82838
Tallapoosa82278
Dale78722
Butler75135
Blount7413
Chilton7226
Coffee7165
Covington71520
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55824
Marion54724
Marengo52614
Clarke4879
Hale45726
Bullock44111
Winston43211
Perry4314
Wilcox4089
Monroe3954
Randolph39110
Bibb3813
Conecuh37210
Pickens3719
Sumter35918
Lawrence3240
Washington31412
Macon31113
Crenshaw2973
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2477
Henry2463
Greene24511
Geneva2420
Clay2235
Lamar2032
Fayette1765
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
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