BasketballBig 12HiringSouthlandWAC

UTRGV announces hiring of BYU assistant Kahil Fennell as next head coach

BYU assistant Kahil Fennell has been announced as the new head coach at UTRGV. Fennell has been with Mark Pope and the Cougars for the last two seasons and before that spent four years on staff at Louisville.

“Today is a great day for UTRGV Athletics and we are thrilled to welcome Coach Fennell as the next leader of our men’s basketball program,” AD Chasse Conque said. “Coach Fennell quickly emerged as someone who has an unmatched passion for the game, young people, and community. In a landscape that is ever changing, Coach Fennell has demonstrated his ability to attract top talent and effectively teach while being a part of successful programs at multiple levels. His story is unique, but one that demonstrates his love for student-athletes and the passion he has to make an impact on their lives on and off the court. Coach Fennell and I share a vision for our program and we understand the importance of building a basketball program that will excite our region, compete for Southland Conference championships, and continue to help UTRGV #RallyTheValley.”

This is the first head coaching opportunity for Fennell, a California-native who has previous experience coaching in Texas from a two-year stint at D-II UT-Permian Basin (2015-17). While on Chris Mack‘s staff at Louisville, Fennell spent three seasons as Director of Basketball Operations and one as assistant coach, and was there in 2019 when the Cardinals reached #1 in the AP Poll. He also worked for one season as an assistant at Portland State (2017-18).

“I am honored to be the next head coach of the UTRGV men’s basketball program,” Fennell said. “I’d like to thank President Bailey, Chasse Conque, and Molly Castner for their collective faith in me and our shared vision for the future of Vaqueros basketball. I am thrilled to be joining a university and athletic department the caliber of UTRGV’s and I am grateful for the opportunity. Further, my family and I feel extremely fortunate to become part of the Rio Grande Valley community. It’s a region that reflects our family’s values and we’re excited to represent our neighbors there. This is a basketball program that is capable of great things with a desire to excel at the highest level. My staff and I will work tirelessly to make this community and university proud as we strive toward bringing a championship to the Valley. V’s Up!”

The 2024-25 season will be the first UTRGV in the Southland after spending the last eleven years in the WAC. The school parted ways with former head coach Matt Figger last month after three seasons, all of which saw the Vaqueros finish below .500. The program has never been to the NCAA Tournament and has just one NIT appearance (back in 1981 as UT-Pan American).


credit to UTRGV Athletics for the image