Steve Prohm was promoted to the men’s head basketball coaching job at Murray State on Monday, taking over for his mentor Billy Kennedy.
Prohm spent the past five years at Murray as an assistant to Kennedy, who left recently to take the coaching job at Texas A&M.
Murray State athletics director Allen Ward called Prohm the right choice to build on the success the Ohio Valley Conference school has had in the past few years, including an NCAA tournament victory.
“He’s well respected by our players, and he’s responsible for many of them being here,” Ward said in introducing Prohm at a news conference in Murray. “He has a history of bringing in a level of talent that’s necessary to win.
“He will bring an immediate sense of stability and familiarity that will be beneficial to this team, at this time in our program’s history.”
During his time as an assistant, Murray won the OVC regular-season championship the past two seasons, and the Racers made their 14th appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2010, when they defeated Vanderbilt. In the round of 32, the Racers lost by two points to eventual national runner-up Butler.
The Racers played in the National Invitation Tournament this past season, losing in the opening round to finish 23-9.
Prohm said he wants to build on those successes while taking the Racers to new heights.
“I want to continue to win conference championships, put ourselves in a position in the NCAA tournament to not just win one game but to win multiple games,” he said. “We have the resources here at Murray State to do that. We have the community support here to do that. And we have the ability with the players and the ability to recruit those players here to do that.”
Kennedy said in a statement that Prohm was “the best guy for the job,” and said his protege “has a chance to do special things at Murray State with the current team and the incoming recruiting class.”
Prohm said his teams will play “with great energy, great enthusiasm and great passion and I will coach the same way. We’ll be tough-minded defensively and we’ll be disciplined and unselfish offensively.”
Prohm had a 12-season association with Kennedy, including stops at Southeastern Louisiana and Centenary.
At Southeastern Louisiana, Prohm was part of a staff that led the school to two Southland Conference championships and a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2005. Prohm also spent one season as an assistant at Tulane.
Prohm graduated from Alabama in 1997 and worked as a student assistant coach and student manager for the Crimson Tide for five years, which included two NCAA tournament appearances and one trip to the NIT Final Four.
• Kennedy leaves Murray St. for Texas A&M