According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Pat Kelsey will not be the next coach at UMass.
Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey has had a change of heart and will not take the UMass job, sources told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 23, 2017
Kelsey, who spent five seasons at Winthrop, was announced as UMass’s coach earlier this week, and talked about the move in a release.
"Lisa and I are thrilled to be joining the UMass family and the Amherst community," Kelsey said in a press release. "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."
Goodman has reported that Kelsey had a “change of heart” and that a source told him the school wasn’t “the right place for him.” This news came just before UMass was to formally announce Kelsey at a press conference in Amherst. According to MassLive.com, media and boosters were “ushered” out of the room.
Awkwardly enough, the UMass basketball Twitter page still had an image of Kelsey as its banner and the following tweet on its timeline as of 4:35 ET.
It is not clear at this time whether Kelsey is returning to Winthrop, or whether another school with an opening reached out to him.
Should he return to Winthrop, it wouldn’t be the first time a high profile coach had a change of heart after briefly leaving Rock Hill. Gregg Marshall was introduced as the coach at College of Charleston in June 2006 before returning to Winthrop a day later.
Kelsey went 102-59 over his five seasons at Winthrop, including 56-30 in the Big South. He led the Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009-10 this season, and has been an assistant at Wake Forest and Xavier.
UMass fired Derek Kellogg following a 15-18 campaign. The former Minutemen guard spent nine seasons in charge, compiling a 155-137 record. UMass has not been in the NCAA Tournament since 2013-14.