John Brannen is moving across the Ohio River, as the Northern Kentucky head coach of the last four years has taken the same role at Cincinnati. Brannen has taken the Norse to two NCAA Tournament since his hiring in 2015, when he took over a program newly transitioning into Division I play.
“[Brannen] has a proven record as a head coach, longtime ties to the local community and coaches an exciting style of basketball,” Cincinnati AD Mike Bohn said in Sunday. “We were impressed with his passion, drive, determination and basketball acumen during the interview process where he truly emerged as the best coach to lead the Cincinnati basketball program with a bright future.”
In addition to his 81-51 tenure at NKU, Brannen served as an assistant at Alabama for six years and was the Tide’s interim head coach for their 2015 NIT appearance (1-1). He was named 2017 Horizon League COY after leading the Norse to the NCAAT in their first year of eligibility.
“It’s truly an honor to take over such a storied program at the University of Cincinnati,” Brannen said in the release. “The Cincinnati-northern Kentucky community is special to my family and we are happy to remain at home.”
Cincinnati has been to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last nine seasons under former head coach Mick Cronin – who left for UCLA earlier this month – but only once reached the the second weekend (2012). Next year’s roster could look very similar to this year’s Bearcats team that went 28-7 and finished 2nd in the AAC. Conference POY Jarron Cumberland has one year of eligibility left after averaging 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game this season as a junior.
Credit to Sam Greene for the photo