Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy to step down

Ole Miss head basketball coach Andy Kennedy has announced he will step down after this season.

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 12:54 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 9:41 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - After 12 years of leading the Ole Miss basketball program, Andy Kennedy will step down as head coach at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, it was announced Monday.


"I have been truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a head coach in the Southeastern Conference in my home state for 12 years," said Kennedy. "I also know that it is time for a new voice and a new vision for this program moving forward. With that said, at the end of this season I will be stepping down in my role as the head coach of Ole Miss. I appreciate Ross (Bjork) and the working relationship that we have, which allows us to talk candidly and frankly that now is the time to move the program forward."

Photo: Andy Kennedy

Andy Kennedy and AD Ross Bjork hold news conference to announce departure.

"As a Mississippian, when Ole Miss needed him, Coach Kennedy answered the call and came home and built this program into one of the most respected basketball programs in the country and the SEC," said Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork. "He changed the mindset and the culture of Ole Miss Basketball. This foundation will live on for a long time. We appreciate the hard work and dedication that he has given. We want to thank his family and want to wish them well in their future. They will always be a part of our program."

"We are grateful to Andy for all that he has done for Ole Miss Basketball and wish him the best," said Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter. "He has certainly left the program miles ahead of where he found it, and we look forward to building upon the consistent foundation of success that he has established."

In his 12th season in Oxford, Kennedy holds a 245-154 record as coach of the Rebels. With 11 postseason wins, eight postseason berths, nine 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT Final Fours, two SEC West titles and an SEC Tournament Championship, the two-time SEC Coach of the Year will leave Ole Miss as the winningest coach in program history. Averaging more than 21 wins per season, Kennedy ranks 18th in SEC history with 245 victories.

The Louisville, Mississippi, native has the fifth-most wins in 12 years at one school in the conference. Kennedy is one of five SEC coaches to post at least nine 20-win seasons in his first 11 years in the league, joining the likes of Billy Donovan (Florida), Joe B. Hall (Kentucky), Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) and Tubby Smith (Kentucky). In a win over Mississippi State earlier this season (Jan. 6), he became the 23rd SEC coach to earn 100 victories in conference play.

Kennedy turned around the Ole Miss basketball program. He is the only coach in SEC history to post 11 consecutive seasons after taking over a program coming off four straight losing seasons. In his first season, he guided the Rebels to 21 wins and an SEC West Division title on his way to becoming SEC Coach of the Year. Since then, the Rebels are one of only 14 teams nationwide to have 11 straight winning seasons. Ole Miss ranks third in the conference with nine 20-win seasons during those 11 years.

Under Kennedy, the Rebels finished .500-or-better eight times in conference play (fourth in the SEC). Ole Miss and Kentucky are the only two SEC schools to finish .500-or-better in league play in each of the last six seasons. Kennedy has a .500-or-better record against 10 of the 13 SEC teams, including a 13-11 mark versus rival Mississippi State. The Rebels have won eight of the past nine meetings in that rivalry.

Ole Miss made eight trips to the postseason under Kennedy, earning 11 of the team's 20 postseason wins throughout history. Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee are the only other SEC schools with at least 11 postseason wins over the past 11 seasons. The Rebels' memorable run as the 2013 SEC Tournament champions resulted in a trip to the NCAA Tournament, where the Rebels upset No. 18 Wisconsin in the opening round. Two seasons later, Ole Miss provided a huge second-half comeback to knock off BYU in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Kennedy also led the Rebels to a pair of NIT Final Four appearances in 2008 and 2010.

Throughout his tenure, Kennedy has developed talent and brought out the best in the basketball players that decide to continue their careers at Ole Miss. He has coached the Rebels' all-time leader in rebounding (Murphy Holloway), 3-pointers (Chris Warren) and blocked shots (Reginald Buckner). Kennedy has guided 16 All-SEC selections, including the likes of Marshall Henderson, Stefan Moody and Sebastian Saiz. Over the last 11 seasons, 12 Ole Miss guards have earned All-SEC honors; only two other schools have accomplished that feat.

Kennedy will remain on the sidelines through the remainder of the season. The Rebels will return to the hardwood Tuesday night, facing Arkansas at The Pavilion. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network.


Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Clouds increase a bit more on Tuesday, though there will still be plenty of sunshine at times. Temperatures will remain very warm. An isolated sprinkle or shower is possible later in the day, though rain chances are much more likely into Wednesday as a cold front passes.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather