Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Big 12 men’s basketball coaches have connections


Before they became new Big 12 head basketball coaches, Missouri’s Frank Haith and Texas A&M;’s Billy Kennedy had already known each other nearly two decades.

Their friendship goes back to when Haith became a Texas A&M; assistant in the early 1990s. They met after Kennedy had already been an Aggies assistant during a stretch of 12 seasons when he worked at eight different schools.

Later, after head-coaching stops at Centenary and Southeastern Louisiana, Kennedy spent the 2005-06 season as an assistant to Haith at Miami.

“I wanted someone that I trusted and had a lot of respect for,” Haith said Thursday during a conference call with Big 12 coaches. “Billy wanted another challenge, and by coming over to work with us at Miami, I thought he had a chance to get a better job or opportunity, and it did work out for him that way. He’s a great man, and also a great coach.”

Haith, who is also a former Texas assistant, and Kennedy are now going to be coaching against each other in the same league.

They account for half of the new coaches in the Big 12, a conference reduced to 10 teams after the departures of Nebraska and Colorado. The other newcomers are Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger and Texas Tech’s Billy Gillispie, who both had previous connections to the league.

Kruger is a former Kansas State coach, assistant and player.

Gillispie is returning to the Big 12 after four years away. He was Texas A&M;’s coach from 2004-07.


Ardy Dehdasht 11 years, 2 months ago

All I have to say is, WTF to this article. Holy crap, does this website have an editor?

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Little known sidenote - Frank Haith's best friend once checked out a library book that had actually been read by a next door neighbor of a friend of Lon Kruger's second cousin. In an unrelated, but almost unbelievable coincidence, both Kennedy and Gillispie also know how to read AND are both named Billy.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 2 months ago

Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln.

kureader 11 years, 2 months ago

... since everyone'e piling on

... yes, Haith and Kennedy represent 1/2 of the new coaches in the Big 12. But, did you know that Lon Kruger represents 1/4 of the new coaches in the Big 12?

kureader 11 years, 2 months ago

it should be "everyone's" ... apologies to the site's spelling bee champions.

AZHawk72 11 years, 2 months ago

Now, if Gillispie could steal a recruit from Kentucky, it could really restore some order to the universe. And, of course, Haith has to follow suit and pluck a couple thought to be headed for Texas, and Kruger must do likewise to the mildcats. This could be reality show material, "Desperate Backbiting Coaches."

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 2 months ago


Dan Beebe is trying to have all coaches in the league named either Bill, Billy, etc. and Frank. So far his goal is half completed: Bill Self, Billy Gillespie, Billy Kennedy, Frank Martin and Frank Haith.

Research is in progress to determine whether the other 5 coaches' middle names are Bill or Frank and whether they will be willing to undergo name changes to conply with Beebe's goal if their middle names are in non-compliance.

Contigency plans are being considered to bring in replacement coaches from the lists of coaches named Bill and Frank should any of the current Non-Bills/Franks be unwilling to change their names. Beebe will stop at nothing to acheive his goals!

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 2 months ago

Nicely done, guys!!! The article didn't do much for me, but the posts were indeed well worth the read! From that standpoint, this article was most appreciated!

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