Here are some quotes from Andy Kennedy and Ross Bjork at today’s press conference after it was announced earlier in the day that he would be stepping down, effective immediately at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season.
Andy Kennedy did not shy away from the criticism and accepted all the blame, to no one’s surprise.
"It's time for a new voice and a new vision for this program."— The DM Sports (@thedm_sports) February 12, 2018
And despite the poor showing this season, Kennedy was as transparent as could be and admitted that he was totally fine with how things have unfolded today.
"I am at complete peace with this situation"— The DM Sports (@thedm_sports) February 12, 2018
After Andy spoke about his feelings towards his era ending, athletic director Ross Bjork acknowledged that Kennedy’s legacy will be celebrated during the end of the season.
Ross Bjork: "It is also time to celebrate Andy Kennedy's dedication and accomplishments."— Brian Scott Rippee (@bsrippee) February 12, 2018
Despite the timing feeling like it is a little odd, being it is during the season and there is still a month left, Kennedy did not have a problem with that.
Kennedy said he felt the time was right for this decision. When asked if he wants to coach next season, he said he wants to coach today, then mentioned he's excited about whatever opportunities may come.— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) February 12, 2018
And despite all the vitriol targeted towards either him or Chancellor Gumballs, he was adamant that he wants the best for everyone involved with the program.
AK: "I didn't want people to have to pick sides. I want everyone to be on the same side."— Brian Scott Rippee (@bsrippee) February 12, 2018
In typical Kennedy fashion, the man was as selfless as always, encouraging Bjork to not waste any time.
Bjork originally wanted to wait until after Tuesday's game to announce decision. Kennedy wanted to announce immediately— The DM Sports (@thedm_sports) February 12, 2018
Members of the media asked Andy what his plans were for the future and if he would try to join a television network, he had quipped back rather quickly.
"I have a face for radio"— The DM Sports (@thedm_sports) February 12, 2018
-AK, in reference to a potential future on TV
And no surprise here, despite leaving his post as head coach, he will be compensated fully as stated on his contract. Damn straight.
Ross Bjork said the university will honor the terms of Kennedy's contract.— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) February 12, 2018
When asked what advice he had for the next coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, Kennedy said “recruit hard, evaluate well, surround yourself with good people.” This is sound advice but it’s easier said than done. Andy was and is a phenomenal coach, but still, there are limitations at this job and until things “change” at every level, that advice is about as good as it gets.
Bjork’s job will be to convey that message to every candidate that they will have the full support of the administration, boosters, and fans. It’s hard to get folks to Oxford for a Tuesday night game so you can only “promise” so much, but the Ole Miss program needs full commitment across the board or it will be more of the same.
Furthermore, Ross said that he “just wants the best coach...recruiting is paramount and we have a lot to sell and have resources...we’re willing to do more, this is a destination job. The SEC is better. This is attractive...we’ll go after the best coach.”
And finally, Bjork stated that they’re going to “ask donors to help invest” and that “we need fans to continue to make this a home court atmosphere.” Bjork seems to have some semblance of direction that he wants to go and he did mention that Kennedy would be a resource throughout the search.
We have compiled a list of some candidates here and will be on the look out for anything official as far as the search goes.