Ole Miss hires Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis to replace Andy Kennedy
Davis, a Mississippi native, will continue to coach Middle Tennessee through the NIT
Kermit Davis -- who has won 81 games (and counting) the past three seasons at Middle Tennessee -- has reached an agreement to succeed Andy Kennedy as Ole Miss' men's basketball coach, the school announced early Thursday.
Davis, a Mississippi State alumnus, will continue to coach Middle Tennessee in the NIT. The Blue Raiders beat Vermont Tuesday night. Their next game is Sunday at Louisville.
An introductory press conference at Ole Miss is scheduled for Monday.
Davis has spent the past 16 seasons at Middle Tennessee -- where he's built the program into a consistent winner and obstacle for SEC schools, which is among the reasons he makes sense for Ole Miss. The 58-year-old Mississippi native won games in both the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Tournaments. He most famously guided the Blue Raiders, as a No. 15 seed, to a 90-81 upset of Michigan State in the Round of 64 of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. It's considered one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.
Simply put, this is a hire respected in basketball circles.
Davis has consistently recorded non-league victories over SEC schools in recent years and established a reputation as a great tactician capable of out-maneuvering opposing coaches even when opposing coaches have superior rosters. So the thought-process here is that if he can beat SEC schools -- plus Michigan State (2016 NCAA Tournament) and Minnesota (2017 NCAA Tournament) -- with C-USA rosters, there's no reason to think he won't be able to beat SEC schools with SEC rosters.
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