Billy Kennedy, the former head coach at Murray State University and one-time Aggie assistant, has been named the new men’s basketball coach at Texas A&M University, Director of Athletics Bill Byrne announced, pending approval by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
“I am very excited to announce that we have hired Billy Kennedy as our new men’s basketball head coach,” Byrne said. “I think he is the perfect fit for Texas A&M. In talking to several people who I respect in college basketball, they mentioned Billy as an outstanding basketball coach but an even better person. He is a winner and his players play hard for him and they play an aggressive style of defense. He has proven he can recruit nationwide, but I look for him to make more inroads here in the state of Texas. We are anxious to get Billy and his family to campus to introduce him to his team, the community and Aggies everywhere.”
Kennedy, 47, is the two-time Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year and has led the Murray State basketball program for the past five seasons. His record included a 31-5 mark in 2008-09 as the Racers won the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title, the OVC Tournament Championship and upset Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Championships before dropping a two-point decision to eventual national runner-up Butler. It marked the best season in the history of Murray State. The Racers followed up with another regular-season championship in 2010-11. His coaching stops have included Southeastern Louisiana, New Orleans, Wyoming, Northwestern State, Tulane, Texas A&M, Creighton, California, Centenary, Miami (Fla.) and Murray State.
“I can’t wait to get back to Aggieland,” Kennedy said. “Even though I was there for only a short time, I could tell Aggieland is a special place. Aggies have great pride and passion for their school and their athletic programs. I have watched with interest the recent success and the NCAA Tournament appearances the past six years. I look forward to meeting the team and working toward a seventh NCAA bid as well as even deeper tournament runs.”
The Aggie men’s basketball program has advanced to the NCAA Tournament a record six consecutive years, one of only 12 schools in the country to accomplish that feat. Prior to the NCAA run, Texas A&M advanced to the NIT in 2004-05 and during the past seven years the school has produced an average of 23.9 wins with those seven straight postseason appearances. During those seven campaigns, the Aggies have won at least 15 home games each year at Reed Arena where nine of the all-time largest crowds have come in the past five seasons.
Kennedy will be announced at a Monday, May 16 news conference in the Lohman Lobby inside the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center. The press conference begins at 3 p.m. CT.