Texas A&M University has reached an agreement in principle with Head Men’s Basketball Coach Billy Kennedy on a new five-year contract, Director of Athletics Scott Woodward announced today at the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Terms of the contract are pending approval by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents at a future meeting.
The top-seeded and SEC Co-Champion Aggies (25-7) play LSU (19-13), the No. 4 seed, in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament at noon in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The game will air nationally on ESPN.
“This new contract and commitment is well-deserved and well-earned by Billy, who is a great ambassador for Texas A&M and who embodies our values,” said Woodward. “He has led our team to Texas A&M’s first conference championship in 30 years, with an NCAA Tournament invitation likely to come on Sunday. Our program is also achieving success in the classroom and in the community. We hope that Billy is leading our program for a long time to come.”
Said Kennedy: “I am extremely appreciative of the support and confidence that Texas A&M has demonstrated to me and to our staff. This has been a team effort, and I am blessed to be coaching such a fine group of young men at an outstanding university. We still have a lot of work left to do this season, and I look forward to leading the Aggies for many years.”
Currently in his fifth season at Texas A&M, the New Orleans native was named the 2016 SEC Coach of the Year by his peers and District VII Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association after leading Texas A&M to its first regular-season conference championship since 1986. Kennedy’s teams have averaged 20 wins over his last 10 seasons as a head coach, earning four league titles and making five trips to the postseason (2 NCAA, 2 NIT, 1 CBI).
The coach of the year honor is the fourth during an 18-year head coaching career for Kennedy, who was also named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011 as well as the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2004.
Additionally, the district coach of the year accolade was the fourth such career honor for Kennedy, who also garnered NABC District 19 Coach of the Year accolades in 2010 while working the sidelines at Murray State and NABC District 8 Coach of the Year recognition in both 2004 and 2005 during his tenure at Southeastern Louisiana.
During a banner 2015-16 campaign, the Aggies captured 24 regular-season victories under Kennedy’s leadership, marking the program’s second-highest win total prior to postseason play and positioning Texas A&M to make its 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The success on the court this season propelled the Aggies into the national spotlight and up to the No. 5 position in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today/Coaches Polls, marking the program’s highest-ever standing in the national rankings.
Kennedy, who notched his 300th career victory during a Jan. 31 victory over Iowa State, and his coaching staff have also enjoyed tremendous success on the recruiting trail. The Aggies have signed nine ESPN Top 100 players since 2013, including a consensus top-10 class in 2015 that was ranked as high as sixth nationally by ESPN.
Entering Saturday’s contest vs. LSU, Kennedy is 96-68 in his five seasons at Texas A&M and 307-247 in 18 overall seasons as head coach.
Photo Courtesy Texas A&M Athletics