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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: 37542

Reported Deaths: 1272
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds304154
DeSoto200920
Madison150839
Jones123149
Harrison118316
Rankin113719
Neshoba104577
Forrest104343
Lauderdale97281
Scott83115
Jackson80419
Washington75313
Copiah67516
Leake63520
Lee63022
Grenada6259
Oktibbeha62328
Warren60021
Holmes59841
Lamar5847
Wayne56819
Yazoo5667
Lowndes54917
Leflore53956
Lincoln53835
Pike51120
Lafayette5094
Sunflower5058
Panola4616
Monroe46036
Simpson4533
Covington4505
Bolivar41618
Tate39513
Attala38624
Newton37710
Adams36720
Pontotoc3636
Marion34912
Claiborne31511
Pearl River30832
Chickasaw30219
Winston30211
Marshall2973
Jasper2826
Noxubee2799
Walthall2748
Clay26211
Smith25612
Union25612
Coahoma2356
Clarke22825
Lawrence2162
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1974
Montgomery1863
Kemper18414
Carroll18311
Humphreys17410
Calhoun1705
Hancock15213
Itawamba1478
Tippah14711
Jefferson1373
Webster13511
Prentiss1274
Tunica1263
George1253
Jefferson Davis1254
Greene11610
Alcorn1112
Amite1113
Tishomingo1091
Quitman1011
Wilkinson1019
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin572
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7012170
Mobile5061140
Montgomery4599112
Tuscaloosa274353
Madison25359
Marshall205012
Shelby176425
Lee164737
Morgan13975
Baldwin134111
Walker111332
Elmore107622
Etowah106914
Dallas10189
DeKalb10017
Franklin95016
Unassigned77728
Autauga71515
Russell7130
Chambers68530
Cullman6686
Limestone6653
Butler65529
Houston6417
Tallapoosa63069
Lauderdale6006
St. Clair5983
Calhoun5545
Colbert5286
Escambia5128
Lowndes49222
Pike4805
Jackson4422
Coffee4364
Covington43512
Talladega4177
Dale4061
Barbour4022
Bullock37810
Hale36323
Marengo36111
Chilton3452
Blount3311
Clarke3236
Wilcox3158
Marion30914
Winston3095
Sumter29713
Pickens2786
Randolph2759
Monroe2683
Perry2552
Conecuh2388
Bibb2271
Macon2229
Choctaw22012
Greene2009
Henry1573
Washington1529
Lawrence1460
Crenshaw1343
Cherokee1317
Geneva1010
Fayette901
Clay892
Lamar891
Coosa671
Cleburne481
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