Ole Miss’ search for a new basketball coach is in its infancy after Andy Kennedy announced on Monday that he will be stepping down at the end of the season.
That doesn’t mean the Rebels do not have some interested candidates, including Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis who, per RebelWalk.com, would accept the job if offered.
Davis, who has been the coach of the Blue Raiders since 2002, has turned the program into a mid-major power, making the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons and will likely be dancing in March this year as well. The Blue Raiders sit at 17-5 (9-1 Conference USA) on the season. Davis’ team served up one of the most memorable moments of the 2016 NCAA Tournament when, as a No. 15 seed, they upset No. 2 seed Michigan State in the first round. During his time at Middle Tennessee, Davis has an overall record of 332-187 and has led the Blue Raiders to the NCAA Tournament three different times.
Davis has roots in the state, growing up with his father serving as the basketball coach at Mississippi State. He would later go on to play guard for the Bulldogs from 1980-82 and would join the staff as a graduate assistant in 1983, his first job in coaching.
The position at Ole Miss would consist of a rebuilding project, as the Rebels have fallen off this year, currently sitting at 11-15. The Rebels have made only two NCAA appearances since Kennedy arrived in 2006 from Cincinnati, with the latest coming in 2014-15.
It would also come in the face of a Mississippi State program that has built some momentum under Ben Howland in his third year in Starkville. The Bulldogs are currently 18-6 and on the bubble for a NCAA Tournament bid.
Davis has also held position in the SEC at LSU as an assistant from 1997-2002 and as head coach at Texas A&M from 1990-91 when the Aggies were in the Southwest Conference.