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Texas A&M coach Kennedy: 'I'm in for the long haul'

By Jeff Goodman | College Basketball Insider

LOUISVILLE, Ky., -- Billy Kennedy sat in the stands, next to his wife and daughter -- just a couple rows behind his former assistant Steve Prohm and the Murray State bench.

Kennedy, who just completed his first season as Texas A&M's head coach, was in Louisville to watch his former program knock off Colorado State. Kennedy, 48, talked about how proud he was of this group he'd helped assemble -- and how they kept their poise after trailing at the break. Kennedy, who disclosed he has the early onset of Parkinson's Disease just prior to the start of the season, also said he's feeling much better and plans to be in College Station for a while.

"I'm in for the long haul," Kennedy said. "Now I know what to do to manage it. I don't have any pain like I did a few months ago. It's not bothering me anymore."

That's terrific news -- especially since there was speculation that circled within the coaching industry that Kennedy's health might not allow him to remain in his current role.

"There's no truth to that at all," Kennedy said.

Multiple sources said that some coaches have used Kennedy's health issue to negative recruit against Texas A&M.

If that is truly accurate, it's disgusting.

Kennedy, according to Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne, has a five-year contract and told he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Byrne said that Kennedy isn't even on medication for Parkinson's.

"He's doing all the things necessary to lead a long and productive life," Byrne said. "He's in good shape to be our coach for a long, long time."

Kennedy was noncommittal whether he'll remain in Louisville for Murray State's game Saturday against Marquette -- which could give the Racers their first Sweet 16 berth in program history.

"We need players," Kennedy said. "I may have to go out recruiting."

Texas A&M finished 14-18 this past season and 4-14 in Big 12 play.

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