By Alabama NewsCenter Staff
Former UAB Blazers star Andy Kennedy is returning to his alma mater as men’s basketball coach. Kennedy was twice named SEC Coach of the Year during his time at the University of Mississippi. (UAB Athletics)
UAB on Friday named former Blazer star Andy Kennedy as its new men’s basketball coach.
“On behalf of my wife, Kimber, and our two daughters, 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 in a letter posted on the UAB Athletics website. “I want to thank (UAB President) Dr. (Ray) Watts and Mark Ingram for believing in me and affording me this tremendous opportunity.”
Director of Athletics Ingram said the hiring of UAB’s seventh head basketball coach is pending approval of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. Kennedy has agreed to a six-year deal going through 2026.
Kennedy is the winningest coach in University of Mississippi history and was twice named SEC Coach of the Year. The UAB alumnus won 245 games as the Rebels coach, leading them to the 2013 SEC Tournament championship and two berths in the NCAA tournament. Kennedy coached Cincinnati for one season, leading the Bearcats to a 21-13 record in 2005-06.
Kentucky Coach John Calipari tweeted soon after the announcement: “UAB hit a grand slam … Andy is a great friend, a good man and one of the best basketball coaches in the country, bar none.”
The past two years Kennedy was a commentator for ESPN and the SEC Network, but he is also the second-leading scorer in UAB history and a former assistant coach for the Blazers under Murry Bartow.
Kennedy was named first team All-Sun Belt Conference as a senior in 1990-91, as well as second team All-Sun Belt as a junior in 1989-90. In three seasons, he scored 1,787 points and holds the UAB 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 in 1990-91).
Additionally, Kennedy holds UAB’s record for most points scored by a sophomore (603) and by a senior (676), most career 20-plus-point games (43), most career 30-plus-point games (7) and most points scored in a single game (41 vs. Saint Louis on Jan. 13, 1991).
“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,” Ingram said. “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.”
Kennedy replaces Robert Ehsan, who in four seasons coached the Blazers to an overall record of 76-57.