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UMass hires Pat Kelsey as new basketball coach

03.21.17 at 6:50 pm ET
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Pat Kelsey is the new basketball coach at UMass. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)

Pat Kelsey is the new basketball coach at UMass. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)

Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford got his man.

After firing UMass men’s head basketball coach Derek Kellogg following the Minutemen’s (15-18, 4-14 Atlantic 10) second-round exit in the A-10 tournament, UMass hired Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey to become the school’s 22nd head basketball coach Tuesday afternoon.

“I am thrilled to welcome Pat Kelsey and his family to the University of Massachusetts,” Bamford said in the team’s press release. “Pat has been an important piece of some highly-successful programs throughout his career, including the last five years leading the basketball program at Winthrop University. Coach Kelsey has a detailed plan for every phase of our program and a passionate work ethic providing fuel to reach our goals of building a championship-caliber program.”

Kelsey spent the previous five years at the helm of the Eagles, compiling a 102-59 record (.634 winning percentage). Winthrop was the 2016-17 Big South regular season and conference tournament champions with a 26-7 record (15-3 in conference) before losing to Butler in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Kelsey’s lone trip to the big dance.

The Eagles won the Big South regular season championship twice in Kelsey’s tenure. He spent two seasons as an associate coach of his alma mater Xavier and eight years as an assistant at Wake Forest before becoming the Winthrop coach.

“Lisa and I are thrilled to be joining the UMass family and the Amherst community,” Kelsey said in the release. “UMass is a national college basketball brand with a proud, powerful tradition. As a player in the A-10, I saw first hand what the potential is there. I look forward to the challenge of making UMass a major factor on the national level once again.”

The news broke after rumors were swirling about a potential job for Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Tuesday morning Shrewsberry emerged as a “serious” contender to become the Minutmen’s next head coach after having met with school officials earlier this month, with a second interview on the docket.

The Boston Herald’s Rich Thompson reported early Tuesday afternoon via Steve Bulpett’s Twitter account that Shrewsberry was in fact out of the running to be the team’s next head coach, and was no longer on Bamford’s short list before ESPN’s Jeff Goodman initially reported the team hired Kelsey Tuesday afternoon.

Kelsey will take over for Kellogg after the Springfield, Mass. native spent nine seasons in Amherst, posting a 155-137 record (.531 winning percentage) with one trip to the NCAA tournament in 2013. The Minutemen lost 15 of its final 20 games this season after starting the year 10-3 with a nationally-rated recruiting class.

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