Ford leaves, Kellogg to step in

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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After Travis Ford said he was locked up as the Massachusetts men’s basketball coach for “many years to come,” he unexpectedly left for more money at Oklahoma State, leaving the position open.

That job opening will officially be closed at 6 p.m. tonight, when University of Massachusetts athletic director John McCutcheon introduces Memphis assistant coach – and former UMass player – Derek Kellogg as the next head men’s basketball coach. The press conference is open to the public and will be held at the Curry Hicks Cage on campus.

The story first broke Tuesday afternoon, as ESPN’s Andy Katz reported that Kellogg would be introduced on Wednesday. No official announcement was made confirming that by McCutcheon, but a source close to the athletic department told The Daily Collegian that the report was “not wrong.”

Kellogg, 34, joined John Calipari’s staff at Memphis for the 2000-01 season and has been there ever since. Before his time there, Kellogg was an assistant at George Mason for two seasons and at Youngstown State for one. He has never been a head coach.

Although he lacks the head coaching experience that Ford had, the Kellogg signing should excite a fan base that is upset with Ford’s sudden departure and that is looking for a candidate with UMass ties that wants to stay for the long haul.

Kellogg played high school basketball in Springfield at Cathedral High School and starred for the Minutemen in his four seasons playing under Calipari from 1991-95. He was a two-time captain point guard, and UMass made the NCAA Tournament in all four of his seasons – three of which came with him as the starter.

Kellogg is noted for his strong recruiting skills, and helped bring star Derrick Rose and prep phenom Tyreke Evans to Memphis. Rose, a freshman point guard, is expected to be a top-2 selection in the upcoming NBA Draft. Other candidates thought to be a possibility for the position were Davidson’s Bob McKillop, Ohio’s Tim O’Shea, University of Connecticut assistant coach Pat Sellers and Tim Maloney, who was the associate head coach for the last three years under Travis Ford. Maloney was a finalist at Jacksonville State, but recently missed out on the job. He could potentially follow Ford to OSU or stay on board under Kellogg. Ford left for OSU late last week, signing a seven-year, $9.1 million contract. The restructured contract he worked out with UMass after turning down the Providence job was never signed, just verbally agreed to. Kellogg will be the 21st head coach in the history of the UMass men’s basketball program. Eli Rosenswaike can be reached at [email protected]