Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork says he’s met with basketball coach Andy Kennedy and with Kennedy’s representation, and plans are under way to extend Kennedy’s contract to the four-year maximum allowed by state law.
Bjork did not offer specifics beyond that.
Kennedy got a raise to $1.8 million a year and had his contract extended to four years in 2013 after leading the Rebels to the SEC tournament championship and an NCAA tournament win over Wisconsin.
Earlier this week Kennedy’s name was mentioned in connection with the opening at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
“I’ve talked to Andy and his representative, and there’s nothing to that story, that connection. We met this morning and talked about how we get basketball better, how we become more consistent, what the future holds. Andy’s our coach, he’s our guy,” Bjork said.
Kennedy said his name being linked with USF was nothing more than “speculation.” He refused further comment.
“The South Florida stuff … things get thrown out there in our business. It’s hard to say where it came from. It doesn’t really matter. We know we’re moving ahead with Andy as our coach. We’re excited about the future and what we can do in basketball,” Bjork said.
Kennedy is 171-101 after eight seasons at Ole Miss.
The Rebels finished 19-14, 9-9 in SEC regular-season play, and did not play in postseason for the second time under Kennedy.
“It’s time for Ole Miss to get behind our coach, our facilities, and it starts with us, the administration. I’m excited about what we have as a foundation and really what we can now build knowing the assets that we have in place. We’ve never had this before,” Bjork said. “We’ve never had an established head coach, more budget in our program, a facility plan … let’s see how those pieces can perform. I think the sky’s the limit.
“Those are all the things to list out that say we have the right ingredients, now we’ve got to support it, stir it and let it grow. I think we can do that. And frankly, Andy has earned that right to say this is his program, our program, ‘Let’s go, let’s everybody lock arms and move ahead.’”