One of my most favorite coaches in all sports to have graced this campus was Andy Kennedy. The 6’7″ Parade All American forward took us to heights never dreamt here in men’s basketball. Following are only a few.
In Coach Kennedy’s 12 fun-filled seasons, he became the winningest coach in Ole Miss basketball history producing 16 All-SEC selections in the process. Names such as Marshall Henderson, Jarvis Summers, Murphy Holloway, Reginald Buckner, Chris Warren, Jeremy Parnell, Terence Davis, Sebastian Saiz and Stefan Moody (only to mention a few of his great players) still bring smiles when I hear their names etched forever in my memory.
Kennedy now holds 33 school records accomplished during those wonderful twelve seasons here including six NIT bids and two NCAA tournament appearances. And who could ever forget winning the SEC tournament in Nashville in 2013?
The list of Coach Kennedy’s achievements go on and on, but there is another side of this individual that too often falls under the radar and that is what a great human being he is. Coach Kennedy was never too busy or inaccessible to talk with both fans and the media. The few times over the years that I was in his presence were most enjoyable.
In today’s college basketball environment as competitive as it is, all take notice when someone at a historical non-basketball school accumulates nine 20 win seasons and 11 straight winning seasons. Only twenty-three coaches (all-time) have won 100 SEC regular-season games with Kennedy being one of them.
Coaching greatness is also about developing assistants as Kennedy helped our own Michael White to his coaching success story which now finds itself at the University of Florida.
In closing, Kennedy thank you for all of the wonderful memories you made for the Ole Miss family during your twelve year run here. You will be greatly missed and never forgotten. You will go down as one of the
very best Rebel coaches ever. You deserve nothing less! Godspeed.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.
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