AMHERST, Mass. — After nine seasons and 292 games, there will be a new bench boss for the Massachusetts Minutemen next season, and for the foreseeable future.
Following the Minutemen’s 73-60 loss to the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the Second Round of the Atlantic 10 tournament, several reports surfaced on Twitter stating that the University of Massachusetts and the department of athletics had relieved head coach Derek Kellogg of his coaching duties.
The tweets surfaced shortly after the loss, which leads many to believe that the decision came just minutes after the team left the court.
Several media members released the news on Twitter, including ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Kellogg took over as head coach at Massachusetts before the 2008-09 season, after serving as an assistant to John Calipari for eight seasons with the Memphis Tigers.
Over his nine seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Kellogg led the Minutemen to a combined record of 155-137 (.591%) overall, and 67-83 in Atlantic 10 play.
Massachusetts made three trips to the post-season over Kellogg’s tenure. Back in the 2013-14 season, the Minutemen went 24-9 on the year, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They were eliminated in the First Round by the Tennessee Volunteers.
That was their only trip to the Big Dance in the nine seasons.
In the two seasons prior, the Minutemen took part in the National Invitational tournament. In 2011-12, they advanced to the semifinals of the event as a five-seed, falling to the eventual champion Stanford Cardinals inside Madison Square Garden.
The year after, as a two-seed, the Minutemen were eliminated in the First Round by the Stony Brook Seawolves.
Following back-to-back losing seasons, and finishing 12th in the Atlantic 10 standings this season, Massachusetts felt that it was time for a change. Despite averaging more than 20 wins per year from the 2011-12 season through 2015-16, the dismal finishes of the past two years cannot be ignored.
With the Minutemen’s loss to the Bonnies on Thursday afternoon, they finished with a record of 15-18 overall, and 4-14 in conference play.
Despite the past two seasons not being the best in the program’s history, expect the head coaching gig at Massachusetts to be one of the more sought-after jobs on the market this offseason.
– T. Bennett