Kennedy opts to end his Ole Miss coaching tenure immediately
Mississippi head coach Andy Kennedy speaks at a press conference at the Pavilion at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. Kennedy, in his 12th season as Mississippi head coach, announced he would not return as coach following this season.(Bruce Newman/Oxford Eagle via AP)
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Mississippi basketball coach Andy Kennedy says his resignation is now effective immediately, six days after saying he would depart at the end of the season.
"It has become readily apparent to me that my continued presence as the head coach is proving detrimental to these players finishing the season in a fashion that is representative of The Standard for this program that has been clearly established and maintained for over a decade," Kennedy said Sunday in a university release. "Therefore, I believe that it is in everyone's best interest that I exit my role as head coach effective immediately.
"We all know that "clean breaks" are always best, and I should have realized this last Monday. My apologies."
Tony Madlock, an assistant on Kennedy's staff, will serve as Ole Miss' acting head coach for the rest of the season.
Kennedy said part of the reason he had stepped down last week was to relieve any external pressure the players may have been feeling due to his uncertain job status. Kennedy said he believed those players were still feeling that pressure even after his Monday announcement.
Ole Miss (11-16, 4-10) has lost 75-64 to Arkansas and 79-62 at Mississippi State in its two games since Kennedy announced he'd be stepping down .
"Andy and I spoke this morning, and I fully support his decision to step away today," athletic director Ross Bjork said. "While we had hoped to relieve some pressure with last week's announcement, it simply did not work out that way. Our student-athletes are the most important aspect of our athletics program, and we must always put them in the best position for success, no matter what."
Kennedy departs with a final record of 245-156 in 12 seasons at Ole Miss. He owns the school record for career victories. Ole Miss had nine 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure
His 401 games at Ole Miss are the 10th-highest total by one coach at one school in SEC history.
Kennedy owns an overall record of 266-169 in 13 seasons. He was interim head coach at Cincinnati in 2005-06 before taking over Ole Miss' program.
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Updated February 18, 2018