Andy Kennedy Biography
One of the most intriguing and colorful coaches of men's basketball in the Southeastern Conference has to be the current head coach at the University of Mississippi, Andy Kennedy. Indeed, Kennedy has done a lot in a very short period of time to turn the Ole Miss basketball program around, but his time with the Rebels has also been one of some level of personal turmoil.
Kennedy's coaching career began in 1994 when he was hired to be an assistant coach at South Alabama, a basketball program that is traditionally considered a strong mid-major type of program. After a two year sting at south Alabama, Kennedy moved across the state to UAB, where he also served as an assistant for the Blazers for 5 seasons. Eventually, he moved on to the University of Cincinnati, where he served as an assistant coach under Bob Huggins before eventually taking over the position as head coach once Bob Huggins resigned prior to the 2005-2006 season. Kennedy performed well in his only season as head coach of the University of Cincinnati, leading the team to a 21-13 record overall and a postseason berth.
That single successful season as head Coach at the University of Cincinnati was enough to convince Ole Miss that Andy Kennedy was the man that they wanted to help bring the Rebels to the top of the Southeastern Conference. He was hired prior to the 2006-2007 season. And in his two full seasons coaching the Ole Miss Rebels, Andy Kennedy has had tremendous success. In his first season as head coach at Ole Miss, Kennedy led the team to a 21-13 record, and a share of the Western Divisional title in the Southeastern Conference. He also led the team to the post season, making it to the 2nd round of the National Invitational Tournament.
In Kennedy's 2nd season, the 2007-2008 season, he took the program to another level of competitiveness, leading the team to a 24-11 record overall, and to the semifinals of the National Invitational Tournament.
Kennedy's successful run at Ole Miss has not come, however, without somewhat of a gray cloud. Most notably stemming from an incident that occurred in mid-December of 2008, just as the Ole Miss Rebels were beginning to hit the straightaway on their 2008-2009 season. On December 28, 2008, Kennedy was arrested in Cincinnati, Ohio after an incident in which he allegedly punched a cab drive and hurled racial insults at him. His court date is scheduled for April of 2009 however, and both Kennedy and Ole Miss Athletic Director Pete Boone are confident that he will be cleared of these charges once the entire story comes out.
Prior to his coaching career, Kennedy was a very talented basketball player in his own right. At 6'7", Kennedy had a body seemingly designed for the game. He was a Parade All-American, as well as the Mississippi Player of the Year while at Louisville High School. He began his college career ay NC State before transferring to UAB, where he had his best years.
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