College basketball: Pat Kelsey named next head coach at Massachusetts
Update (March 23, 4:25 p.m.): Pat Kelsey has had a "change of heart," according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, and will not take the position as Massachusetts men's basketball head coach.
AMHERST, Mass. – Pat Kelsey has been named the 22nd head coach in University of Massachusetts men's basketball history, as announced by director of athletics Ryan Bamford on Tuesday.
"I am thrilled to welcome Pat Kelsey and his family to the University of Massachusetts," Bamford said. "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 seasons accumulating a record of 102-59 at Winthrop, most recently securing the 2017 Big South championship and advancing to the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Winthrop won eight straight games to close the 2016-17 season en route to the 2017 Big South championship and an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Eagles advanced to tournament for the first time since 2010.
"(Lisa and I are thrilled to be joining the UMass family and the Amherst community," Kelsey said. "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."
In 2016-17, Kelsey's Eagles compiled a 26-7 overall record while going 15-3 in Big South action. After taking over a Winthrop program that had won 12 and 13 games in the two seasons prior to his arrival, Kelsey coached the Eagles to 14 wins in 2012-13 (his first as a head coach) and 20 wins in 2013-14.
Kelsey guided the 2015-16 Eagles offense to a top-15 national ranking with 82.2 points per game, leading the Big South in scoring. The Eagles also broke single-season records in three-point field goals made per game (8.9), three-point field goals made (285), total blocks (174), blocks per game (5.44), scoring average in league games only (81.5), most games with 10 or more threes (14), scoring 70 or more points in consecutive games (15) and tied the school mark for 100-point games.
RELATED: LSU tabs Will Wade as its new head coach
The 2014-15 Eagles, compiling a record of 19-13, achieved their highest national rank in school history in scoring (36th overall) and offensive pace (65.9 possessions per game). Winthrop was also among the nation's leaders in three-point field goals made (251) and three-point field goals per game (7.8). The Eagles ranked in the top three in the Big South in scoring offense, field goal percentage, three point field goal percentage, scoring margin and turnover margin.
Prior to his arrival at Winthrop, Kelsey was the associate head coach at his alma mater Xavier for two seasons. The Musketeers had back-to-back 20-win campaigns and NCAA tournament appearances. In 2009-10, the Musketeers won 26 games en route to sharing the Atlantic 10 Championship and advancing to the Sweet 16 as an at-large six seed. Xavier defeated third-seeded Pittsburgh to advance to the Sweet 16 before falling to Kansas State in an epic triple-overtime game.
In 2010-11, the Musketeers won 24 games, captured the regular season conference title and, once again, earned an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament as the team was seeded sixth for the second-straight season.
Prior to his arrival at Xavier under head coach Chris Mack, Kelsey spent eight seasons at Wake Forest under the late Skip Prosser and Dino Gaudio. During his time in Winston-Salem, Wake averaged nearly 21 wins per year in eight seasons, earning five NCAA Tournament berths, an NIT berth, a No. 1 national ranking in two different seasons and an ACC title. With the Demon Deacons, Kelsey coached current NBA players Chris Paul, Josh Howard, Darius Songaila, James Johnson, Jeff Teague, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ishmael Smith.
RELATED: Cuse extends Jim Boeheim beyond 2017-18 | Washington hires Mike Hopkins
Kelsey served as Wake Forest's director of operations for three seasons, starting in 2001, and was promoted to assistant coach prior to the 2004-05 season. He began his coaching career at his prep alma mater Cincinnati's Elder High School from 1998-2001 as an assistant coach under former Xavier guard Joe Schoenfeld.
Under Prosser, Kelsey was a leader in the Xavier backcourt for three seasons (1996-98), helping the Musketeers reach two NCAA Tournaments. His collegiate playing career began at Wyoming in 1993-94, starting 22 games as a freshman, before transferring back to his hometown to play at Xavier.
Kelsey, a native of Cincinnati, graduated cum laude in 1998 from Xavier with a degree in business administration and marketing.