AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Less than a week after their last choice changed his mind, UMass Amherst has already selected a new head coach for the men’s basketball team.
According to a news release from UMass, Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford announced Chattanooga’s Matt McCall as the new head coach. He will replace longtime coach Derek Kellogg, who was fired two weeks ago.
Below is a statement from Bamford:
It is my pleasure to welcome Matt McCall and his family to the University of Massachusetts. Matt is a rising star in college basketball coaching who has been a key piece of three successful programs in his career. He has earned a reputation as a relentless worker, a great teammate and colleague and a confident leader of young men. Matt has worked with some of the most respected coaches and administrators in the country, who loudly sing his praises. Coach McCall’s appointment begins an exciting new chapter for our tradition-rich men’s basketball program at UMass.
McCall has been the head coach for Chattanooga for the last two seasons. In his first season, he led the school to the NCAA tournament, and was named the Southern Conference Basketball Coach of the Year. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant coach at the University of Florida.
Below is a statement from McCall:
My family and I always said it would take something extremely special to move us away from Chattanooga and that’s what we have here at UMass. The tradition and resources that are in place not only make this one of the best basketball jobs in the Atlantic 10 Conference, but one of the best jobs in the country. We couldn’t be more excited about becoming part of the UMass family and look forward to building upon the rich tradition that has been established here in the past.
UMass senior Daniel Orencole told 22News he’s excited to see what McCall does for the university; “He led them to the tournament with less resources at his disposal. So yeah, UMass definitely has the money, so if they put effort with the program, I don’t see why not.”
UMass last week had committed to hiring Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey as their new head coach, but a half hour before their news conference last Thursday, Kelsey backed out of the job.
The university plans to formally introduce Coach McCall in a news conference on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.