Photo by Joi Williams / MTSU Sidelines
After a week of rumors and whispers around the college basketball world, Middle Tennessee Head Coach Kermit Davis has officially accepted the head coaching vacancy at Ole Miss.
Davis coached at MTSU for 16 seasons, and won 332 games, six regular season championships, two conference tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament games. He also owns what is considered one of the greatest upset wins in NCAA Tournament history when his 15th-seeded Blue Raiders knocked off the number second-seeded Michigan State Spartans in 2015-16.
Davis will be replacing former Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, who stepped down as the team’s coach in February.
The new coaching venture will bring Davis closer to home, as he is a Mississippi native and his father used to coach at rival school Mississippi State.
“It just took something like Ole Miss for me to leave here,” Davis said. “It was just home. My dad and mother are over 80 and are only 45 minutes from Oxford. My daughter and her husband live 45 minutes away from Oxford … it’s a place that I have followed for a long time and to be in a prestigious league like the Southeastern Conference (is a great opportunity).”
Despite the great opportunity given to Davis, he was still emotional when discussing leaving MTSU.
“My love for this place gets me emotional ,” Davis said. “When you invest this much, it’s tough. It’s a hard decision.”
Even with the new job, Davis says that he will be coaching the Blue Raiders for the rest of the season.
Players and fans showed their support for Davis in his new position. For some of his players, they are thankful for the opportunities Davis gave them at the school.
“He gave me an opportunity to play Division one basketball and that’s something that I’ll always be thankful for,” said senior guard Giddy Potts. “I’ve really enjoyed playing learning from him. I wish him the best.”
Senior forward Nick King appreciates the work that Davis has put into the program, and the way that Davis helped him enjoy the game he loves.
“He’s given me another opportunity to come in and enjoy the game,” King said. “I have all the respect for him, and I’m glad he’s getting the opportunity to continue winning at a high level. In his years at MT, he has done everything he can and given a lot to this program and I’m sure everyone is happy for him.”
The search for the next head basketball coach at MTSU is now currently underway and will be conducted by an outside search firm, according to MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro.
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