||Ole Miss announces contract extension for Kennedy
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) — After guiding Ole Miss to its second NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons, head coach Andy Kennedy has agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2019, Athletics Director Ross Bjork announced Tuesday.
Kennedy's four-year deal is the longest allowed by the state of Mississippi and includes a base salary of $1.925 million that was earned after reaching certain performance incentives for the 2014-15 season. It also includes incentives for SEC regular season and NCAA postseason success and an increase in the investment of assistant coach and basketball support staff salaries.
"The future of Ole Miss Basketball could not be stronger," Bjork said. "Andy Kennedy is the core of that strength and we are pleased to announce his contract has been extended four more years. Coach Kennedy has built his legacy among the top coaches in SEC history, and I look forward to him leading the Rebels into a new era with the opening of the Pavilion at Ole Miss."
"I greatly appreciate the opportunity I've been given to be the head basketball coach at Ole Miss,” Kennedy said. “As a native Mississippian, it is an honor to continue in my role as a head coach at Mississippi's flagship university. I want to publicly thank Dr. Dan Jones and Ross for their unwavering support in our mission to continue to build Rebel Basketball into a program of national relevance."
The all-time winningest coach in Ole Miss history, Kennedy is one of only 10 active head coaches who have coached at least 10 seasons without a losing record, a group that includes Mark Few, of Gonzaga, Tom Izzo, of Michigan State, Bo Ryan, of Wisconsin, and Roy Williams, of North Carolina. He has averaged more than 21 wins per season in his nine years at Ole Miss, after the Rebels had posted three 21-plus win seasons in the 96 years before his arrival.
Kennedy guided the Rebels to the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship and tied the school record with 27 wins en route to SEC Coach of the Year honors that season. He boasts the third-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first nine years in the league at one school with 192, trailing only Kentucky’s Joe B. Hall (205) and Florida’s Billy Donovan (193).
Ole Miss, Florida and Kentucky are the only teams in the SEC to advance to the NCAA Tournament two of the last three seasons and are the only teams in the league to win 20-plus games in at least seven of the past nine seasons. The Rebels and the Wildcats are the only two teams in the conference to post winning seasons each of the last nine years.
Kennedy has led the Rebels to a 192-114 record in his nine seasons as head coach and is the only coach in Ole Miss history to post seven 20-plus win seasons and lead his squad to seven postseason berths. He is also just the fifth coach in SEC history with 20-plus wins in seven of his first nine seasons joining Billy Donovan, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith.
A two-time SEC Coach of the Year selection, Kennedy has more postseason wins (9) than any coach in school history and has coached Ole Miss' all-time leading rebounder (Murphy Holloway), 3-point shooter (Chris Warren) and blocked shots leader (Reginald Buckner). The Louisville, Mississippi, native has also led the Rebels to two SEC West titles and a pair of NIT Final Four appearances.