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Ryan Bamford discusses plans moving forward in search of new UMass men’s basketball coach

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

Massachusetts Athletic Director Ryan Bamford spoke with reporters Friday morning in wake of the recent firing of men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg after he was let go Thursday night following the Minutemen’s departure in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

In the conference call, Bamford talked about the finances of Kellogg’s contract buyout as well as the future and what he was looking for in the new coach, and the rest of the basketball program.

Bamford is hoping to have the next coach in place by the end of the month.

“This is a hard decision for us to make and for me to make, but at the end of the day we just needed more consistent results competitively, and just felt like for the future of our program this was best opportunity to make a change and move forward in a positive way and in an upward trajectory,” Bamford said.

“We start the search in earnest for our next head coach and that process will likely play itself out over the next couple of weeks and hope to have a successful candidate in place at the end of the month at the latest.”

Kellogg’s buyout will cost UMass $1.16 million over the next two years.

Bamford expects the next coach’s salary to be a five-year deal worth between $800,000-$900,000 with additional bonuses. The contract would be back-loaded and will increase in average annual salary in year’s three through five to compensate Kellogg’s buy out.

Bamford said he wanted both a good recruiter and X’s and O’s coach to take over the Minutemen.

“Obviously [we want] someone who is a talented recruiter, can build a quality staff, a staff that can recruit and develop talent,” Bamford said. ‘Someone that knows the program is not only focused on the basketball piece but bringing in student athletes that are going to succeed in the classroom, be good community members.”

“I think in our league, a multi-bid league, I think the coaching the X’s and O’s aspect is very important,” he added. “There are so many games in our league that go down to the under-four timeout, the media timeout at the end of four mark and I think that the games are won and lost in that last four minutes and we need somebody that can help make a difference in that time period and win games based on their coaching.”

UMass will partner with Fogler Consulting to help with the search process. Fogler, which will be paid $25,000, is run by former South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler.

This is Bamford’s third coaching search in the past two years since taking over as athletic director. He hired both hockey coach Greg Carvel and women’s basketball coach Tory Verdi after each respective program had underachieving seasons last year.

UMass finished the 2016-17 record with a 15-18 record and went 4-14 in A-10 play.

“Over the last month I would tell you that I really had to start looking at our options and it came to focus. We started out 10-3 in the non-conference and then went 4-14 in the conference schedule.

“I’m not sure there is one day where I said ‘OK, we need to make this decision,’ it was just a culmination of looking at the overall picture …  It’s a decision until the final grade are in and all the games have been played. I felt like after this tournament, winning and losing one, we were kind of back were we were a couple weeks ago and weren’t able to go on a run to end the season with a good feeling.”

Andrew Cyr can be reached at arcyr@umass.edu, and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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