Skinner, who has served as an assistant coach at Bryant since 2013, spent 13 seasons as the head coach at Boston College, winning 247 games and taking the Eagles to the NCAA tournament seven times. He made two previous trips to the tournament at Rhode Island, where he spent nine years.
While Skinner has a successful track record as a coach, it all came in the northeast, beginning his career as an assistant at Marist before stops at URI, BC and most recently, Bryant. His first priority will be to retain or hire assistants with ties to the Atlanta area.
There are connections between Skinner and Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams. The two both attended UMass, although their times in Amherst were separated by several decades. Williams went on to receive a Master’s Degree from Boston College in 2002, Skinner’s fifth year at Chestnut Hill.
Skinner will become the third coach the Kennesaw State program has had since 2013. Lewis Preston, who took a leave of absence during the 2013-14 season, was relieved of his duties in March 2014. Jimmy Lallathin was let go last month, after his first season as head coach.
He will be taking over a team that went 10-22 (4-10 Atlantic Sun) this past season, finishing second-to-last in the conference. The Owls program has lost 20 or more games in each of the last six seasons.
Kennesaw State will not retain head coach Jimmy Lallathin, after he only lasted one full season. Lallathin took over for former Owl head coach Lewis Preston in the middle of the 2014-15 season and coached this season before parting ways with the Atlantic Sun program. The news was first reported by ESPN.com.
The first-year head coach of the Atlantic Sun program will miss the Nov. 16 game against Cal as associate head coach David Rivers will coach the Owls instead.
Lallathin is being suspended after Kennesaw State self-reported violations to the NCAA.
After serving as interim head coach for 16 games last season, Lallathin was named the head coach at Kennesaw State in late March. Lallathin has been with the Owls as an assistant coach since June of 2011.
Overall, it doesn’t look good to suspend your head coach in-light of some NCAA issues, but if Lallathin can win games and make some noise in the Atlantic Sun in the near future, this will likely be forgotten.
Kennesaw State opens the season on Nov. 14 against Syracuse.
When former Kennesaw State head coach Lewis Preston took a leave of absence in early January, associate head coach Jimmy Lallathin was named the interim head coach for a program that has struggled in the Atlantic Sun. And just a couple days after the school and Preston mutually agreed to go their separate ways, Kennesaw State announced that Lallathin’s interim tag has been removed.
“I was impressed with the way he took over the team and conducted himself this past season under difficult circumstances,” Kennesaw State AD Vaughn Williams said in the release. “The team responded under his leadership, playing with a high level of energy and competiveness that led to exciting basketball.
“I am confident that under Jimmy’s direction, the basketball program will continue to improve and become competitive in the Atlantic Sun Conference.”
Under Lallathin the Owls won three games, beating USC Upstate, Northern Kentucky and Stetson. The team’s top four scorers from a season ago, led by guard Delbert Love, all have eligibility remaining. Prior to being hired by Preston in 2011 Lallathin spent four seasons as a member of the staff at Miami University, with one being as an assistant coach (2010-11).