By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss and men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy have agreed to an extension and raise that gives Kennedy a salary increase of roughly $500,000.
Kennedy just completed his seventh season at Ole Miss, leading the Rebels to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002 and to their first NCAA win since 2001.
Ole Miss also won three straight games and the SEC tournament championship in Nashville this season.
AD Ross Bjork called the move a “continued investment” in men’s basketball.
Kennedy had two years remaining on his previous deal. The contract now extends four years, the maximum allowed by state law.
“Great fan support, coupled with our state-of-the-art practice facility and the development of a new arena, means the future is bright for our program,” Bjork said.
Kennedy is 152-87 at Ole Miss. He was hired in April of 2006 after serving that season as interim coach at Cincinnati.
Ole Miss had participated in five NIT’s Kennedy before reaching the NCAA tournament this season.
Kennedy is the winningest coach in program history.
Led by flamboyant guard Marshall Henderson the Rebels went 27-9 this season, tying a school record for wins.
Henderson has said he’ll return for his senior season. The Rebels will miss senior forward Reggie Buckner and Murphy Holloway and guard Nick Williams.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to continue leading the men’s basketball program at Ole Miss,” Kennedy said. “The commitment shown by Ross and Dr. (Dan) Jones (chancellor) exemplifies their vision for our program moving forward. I am very proud of the foundation that we have laid .