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UMass fires Derek Kellogg after A-10 Tournament elimination

Derek Kellogg was fired as UMass head coach on Thursday, the same day that his Minutemen were eliminated from the A-10 Tournament. The loss capped off a disappointing 15-18 (4-14 A-10) season, the third straight in which UMass landed in the bottom half of the conference.

Kellogg is a Springfield, MA native who played at UMass from 1991-1995 for head coach John Calipari. He later coached under Calipari for 8 seasons at Memphis before taking over the UMass program in 2008.

During his nine years as head coach, Kellogg led the Minutemen to just one NCAA Tournament appearance (2014) and two NITs (2012 & 2013). The team never finished higher than a tie for 5th in the A-10, and four times finished 10th or worse.

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a statement that a change was needed in order to realize “a higher level of competitive success expected at UMass.”

The next coach will inherit a young roster eager to make some noise and challenge Dayton and VCU in A-10 play. There is also a facilities upgrade in the works for the men’s and women’s programs, including the state-of-the-art John F. Kennedy Champions Center currently under development.

So what’s next for UMass? Kennesaw State head coach Al Skinner played at UMass and is likely eager to get back to the Northeast, where he spent most of his career. Skinner has been to 9 NCAA Tournaments with Rhode Island and Boston College. UK assistant Tony Barbee also played at UMass and has 8 years of head coaching experience at UTEP and Auburn.

Other names that will pop up during this search – and many others – include UNCW‘s Kevin Keatts, Winthrop‘s Pat Kelsey and FGCU‘s Joe Dooley.