Men’s Basketball: McDevitt replaces Davis as new head coach at Middle Tennessee


The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders defeated the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers by a score of 66-62 on Jan. 20, 2018, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (Joi Williams / MTSU Sidelines)

Photo by Joi Williams / MTSU Sidelines

Middle Tennessee has named its new head coach, as University of North Carolina-Asheville Nick McDevitt will be replacing Kermit Davis in Murfreesboro, according to multiple sources who informed the USA Today Network-Tennessee.

McDevitt, 38, comes to the program after spending both his college playing career and the start of his coaching tenure at UNCA. He played for the Bulldogs from 1997-2001, and became an assistant coach after his graduation. McDevitt spent 10 years as an assistant for the program, and then was named an associate in 2011.

The Marshall, N.C. native was named the head coach of the Bulldogs in 2013, and proved to be a worthy candidate for the Middle Tennessee position in his tenure. He compiled a 98-65 record in five seasons, including a 40-14 mark in conference play in his last three years.

His last three seasons were particularly solid, as UNCA won 20 or more games each season and earned a postseason berth all three years.

This culminated in 2016 when the Bulldogs won the Big South Tournament and made its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Given a No. 15 seed, UNCA was defeated by the No. 2 seed Villanova by a final score of 86-56.

McDevitt comes to a program that has grown exponentially as a national brand in the last three years. After shocking the world and defeating the No. 2 seed Michigan State in 2015, the Blue Raiders put together their one of their best seasons in school history by putting together a 31-4 record and a program-best 17 wins in Conference USA.

This culminated in another win over a Big Ten team when they defeated the No. 5 seed Minnesota in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament. Middle Tennessee followed that up this past season with a 25-8 mark and a 16-2 record in conference play.

The season made an abrupt left turn in the C-USA Tournament when the Blue Raiders were upset by heavy underdog Southern Mississippi in the quarterfinals, leaving their postseason fate in the hands of the selection committee. Forced to sweat it out on Selection Sunday, the Blue Raiders were left out of the field of 68 and were sent to the National Invitation Tournament.

Given the No. 3 seed, Middle had a first-round date with the Vermont Catamounts inside Murphy Center on Mar. 13. The Blue Raiders dominated this matchup, winning by a final score of 91-64 to get to round two. Davis was named the new head coach for Ole Miss a mere two days later on Mar. 15.

The season ended inside of the KFC Yum! Center at the hands of the Louisville Cardinals by a final score of 84-68 last Sunday.

In his time at MTSU, Davis won 332 games and eight conference championships. He was named Coach of the Year four times, and won two NCAA Tournament games.

Needless to say, McDevitt has some big shoes to fill inside the hallowed halls of Monte Hale Arena.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Xavier Dupree
    April 5, 2018
    Reply

    Middle Tennessee State lost their head coach Kermit Davis a couple weeks ago and his departure put Blue Raider basketball in a search to see who would take over as head coach of this growing program. Just last week MTSU hired former North Carolina- Asheville coach Nick McDevitt to be the head man in charge. In my opinion, this is a great hire for the basketball program. Coach Davis did an excellent job in his time at MT and I feel will do a great job at Ole Miss. But I think that it is good to have a fresh face on campus. McDevitt is a younger guy who is a good recruiter and he brings a style of play that I think the players and the fans will like as well. He wants to run up and down the floor on offense and play hard nose tough defense. I think the players will respond to him in a positive way. Any time there is a coaching change there is always going to be a growing period but I think that this is a great hire for MT basketball. Murfreesboro should be excited about the new head coach of Blue Raider basketball Nick McDevitt.

    • Xavier M. Dupree
      April 6, 2018
      Reply

      Coach McDevitt has spent a week in Murfreesboro and I think he is getting accustom to be a Blue Raider. McDevitt and his wife just had a baby girl right as he got hired as the new head coach. This has been an eventful time for Coach McDevitt and his family. But, I think he is making a pretty good transition as he has hired an assistant coach and the Blue Raiders started practice. Some of the players spoke on coach and how he is very energetic, and they feed off that. The season is still a long way away, but they are starting to form the identity of their team. However, Coach McDevitt and his coaching staff have some work to do as far as recruiting goes. The Blue Raiders lost their three 2018 commits more than likely due to Coach Davis departing for Ole Miss. So, McDevitt will have a chance to show off his recruiting skills as he looks to bring in some new recruits to MTSU.

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