College basketball coaching carousel: Tracker for 2019-20 coaching searches, changes, hirings, firings

After two seasons away from the bench, Andy Kennedy is returning to college basketball coaching and will lead the UAB Blazers, the school announced Friday.

Kennedy played for the Blazers from 1987 to 1990 and was a UAB assistant from 1995 to 2001. Most recently, he coached at Ole Miss from 2006-2018, winning 245 games with the Rebels, making him the most successful coach in that program’s history. In fact, Kennedy inherited an Ole Miss program with four straight losing seasons — then proceeded to go 11 seasons in a row above .500. The 52-year-old spent the past two years as a commentator for ESPN but previously told CBS Sports he had a hunger to return to coaching.

It was a matter of a the right opportunity. The Blazers presented that option.

UAB is coming off back-to-back four-year coaching stints that ended for opposite reasons. The school parted ways last week with Rob Ehsan after the Blazers failed to make an NCAA Tournament in his previous three seasons and would have required an automatic bid in 2020 to dance this March. 

Prior to Ehsan, Jerod Haase (now at Stanford) ran the the program and got it to two NCAA Tournaments. That’s where UAB fans expect their team to be on an almost-annual basis. Kennedy has done well in the area and figures to be a solid hire. By taking this job, he also brings a high-profile name to Conference USA, a league that could use a bit more pop and recognizability throughout its coaching ranks.

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