Oxford's walking straight-razor advertisement, Andy Kennedy, agreed to a four-year contract extension today, following the Rebel Roundballers' second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years.
AK's shiny new deal runs through 2019 and earns him a base salary of $1.925 million United States dollars per year, including additional performance perks after the topsy-turvy 2014-15 season. Further, the agreement also involves "an increase in the investment of assistant coach and basketball support staff salaries," an ancillary point, sure, but of considerable significance for a sport continually playing second fiddle to Hugh Freeze and company. Raises all around should spell better infrastructural strength at every level of the roundball program.
It's somewhat funny to think that Kennedy's name was uttered back in March as a viable replacement for Tennessee's quickly-ousted Donnie Tyndall, but it's a mark of Ross Bjork's faith in Angular Andy that Ole Miss' athletics department has offered him the longest-allowable contract under Mississippi law. And with Billy Donovan packing up his office in Gainesville, AK stands alongside John Calipari as a veteran of SEC basketball.
Kennedy, for his part, is understandably happy about re-upping his direct deposit arrangement with the University:
I greatly appreciate the opportunity I've been given to be the head basketball coach at Ole Miss ... As a native Mississippian, it is an honor to continue in my role as a head coach at Mississippi's flagship university. I want to publicly thank Dr. Dan Jones and Ross for their unwavering support in our mission to continue to build Rebel Basketball into a program of national relevance.
If this news rakes for some, do bear in mind that AK is Rebel basketball's winningest coach with a record of 192-114 in nine seasons at the helm. He's coaxed JUCO transfers to Oxford and turned them into well-loved assets on the court. Hell, he's won an SEC Tournament. So, with the Pavilion slated to open next season, Kennedy gets four more years to recruit, build the roster and make ever-more-nail-biting runs into March.