Arkansas Tech University head men’s basketball coach Mark Downey has announced the hiring of Nathan Kennedy as an assistant coach, once more reuniting the two on the sidelines.
“We are excited that Nathan Kennedy has joined us at Arkansas Tech,” remarked Downey. “Coach Kennedy is a veteran coach on the Division II level with a winning pedigree. He has played for and worked for some of the winningest coaches on the D2 level.”
Prior to his appointment at Tech, Kennedy was an assistant coach on Downey’s staff at the University of Charleston (Charleston, W.Va.) for two seasons from 2010-11 to 2011-12 and at the University of West Alabama (Livingston, Ala.) for one season (2013-14) while most recently serving as an assistant coach at Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, Okla.) the past three seasons (2017-18 – 2019-20).
“Coach Kennedy and I have worked with each other for six seasons including the last three at Northeastern State,” Downey added. “Nathan knows what I want in every situation before I even tell him. He is a basketball junkie with a great work ethic. Nathan loves our players and is extremely loyal. He will be a tremendous head coach on this level very soon.”
Kennedy’s time alongside Downey have yielded a tremendous amount of success. Twice the two have helped lead their program to the NCAA Tournament with appearances while at Charleston in 2011-12 and in their lone season at West Alabama in 2013-14. In six seasons coaching alongside one another their teams have won nearly 100 games and have posted four winning seasons.
In joining Downey’s staff upon his initial hire at Northeastern State in 2017-18, Kennedy helped guide the turnaround of that program that saw an increase in wins each season, culminating with 18 victories in 2019-20. In the season prior to Downey and Kennedy’s arrival in Tahlequah, the program had won just five games and hadn’t won double-digit games since 2013-14.
“As a young assistant working for Mark Downey, I’ve heard great stories about the Wonder Boys, ATU and Russellville,” remarked Kennedy. “I finally get the chance to be part of their great basketball tradition and help bring fans to the historic Tucker Coliseum. I can’t wait to get started working with the players and community, #FightOn!”