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  • Writer's pictureKevin Scarbinsky

Andy Kennedy is staying at UAB for now so enjoy the revival while you can

Just another day in June meant just another victory Saturday for a UAB basketball program on a roll. It is finally and officially official after a nervous week of speculation, consternation and a cryptic late-night tweet that didn't mean exactly what you thought it meant.

Andy Kennedy is not leaving his alma mater. He is not going to follow his fallen coaching big brother, Bob Huggins, to take over at West Virginia.

At least not now, but check back in March or April. The Mountaineers could come calling again at a much better time on the calendar, under much better circumstances, when it may be hard for Kennedy to say no.

West Virginia AD Wren Baker kept that door wide open Saturday evening even as he announced that the school had promoted longtime assistant Josh Eilert to take over for Huggins, a week after the Hall of Famer resigned and retired in the wake of a DUI arrest.

Baker's letter to West Virginia fans contained two phrases that should temper the celebration among UAB fans thrilled that they are not losing another quality head coach to a power conference program in the tradition of Mike Anderson to Missouri and Jerod Haase to Stanford.

Baker noted that Eilert will serve "on an interim basis" through the upcoming season, "at which time we will begin anew with our search for a permanent head coach."

Uh-oh. Given that UAB has restocked its roster with three high-major transfers and three top-10 juco prospects after winning 22, 27 and a school-record 29 games in Kennedy's first three seasons, it's quite likely that the Blazers will put together another big year and that their coach will be on the radar of multiple athletics directors next spring.

Baker saw Kennedy's work up close while serving as an outstanding AD at North Texas before moving to West Virginia last November. See? It's a natural progression from mid-major to high-major for coaches and administrators. ...

Read the rest of Kevin's column on a search that could have a different result if it happens again next spring. Only in the Lede.

Andy Kennedy has revived the Gene Bartow Standard as the head basketball coach at his alma mater, UAB.



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