What looked like a sure thing late last night is now being reported as fact. According to the Houston Chronicle, Murray State's Billy Kennedy will be the new head coach at Texas A&M with a press conference expected for Monday afternoon to announce the move.
Athletic Director Bill Byrne met with Kennedy yesterday afternoon in addition to Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson who was considered to be the other finalist for the position. In all, according to various reports, the Aggies contacted Marquette's Buzz Williams, Josh Pastner of Memphis, Colorado's Tad Boyle and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy to replace departed head coach Mark Turgeon who accepted the Maryland job.
Kennedy's contract is expected to pay him approximately $1 million per year, almost four times what he was set to make at Murray State. He had recently signed a contract extension with the Racers that would keep him with the program through the 2014-15 season. In his five seasons with the school, he led Murray State to a 70-24 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Ultimately, this may not be the flashiest hire, but it's a good one. Kennedy has proven to be a winner at each of his coaching stops and more importantly has some recruiting ties in Texas. The Aggies are expected to be a top 25 team next season and Kennedy can help ensure they stay there for a while. Murray State will have to fill a big void.