UMass has relieved Derek Kellogg of his head coaching duties.
“Decisions like this are always difficult but after a thorough review of our men’s basketball program, I believe that a leadership change is needed to realize a higher level of competitive success expected at the University of Massachusetts,” Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford said in a statement.
The news comes directly after the Minutemen’s 73-60 season-ending loss to St. Bonaventure in Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament in Pittsburgh. UMass tied Saint Joseph’s for the second-worst record in the A10 this season, ahead of only Duquesne. It was the second consecutive losing season for the Minutemen, who slid down the conference standings from 2015-16.
Kellogg, a native of the area, played for John Calipari at UMass. After stops as an assistant at George Mason and Youngstown State, Kellogg reunited with the Hall of Famer in Memphis for eight seasons. He took over his alma mater in 2008.
At the helm, Kellogg had three 20-win seasons, made it to a pair of NITs and got UMass into the NCAA Tournament in 2014, snapping a drought of 16 years. However, he failed to build on that success, as the program has declined in the years following that tournament appearance.
Things seemed to be turning around, as Kellogg brought in the conference’s top recruiting class this fall, led by Dejon Jarreau and Chris Baldwin. A young roster will almost always go through its share of growing pains, and UMass losing 10 games by six points or less provides proof of that. But frustration from the alumni and the fan base already existed. Supporters would point to a 30-point loss to last-place Duquesne late in the year as evidence that a change was in order.
Bamford, who inherited Kellogg from his predecessor, will have a brand-new practice facility and a strong roster of talented, young players — assuming they don’t transfer out of the program — to sell to coaching candidates.
Kellogg had a 155-137 (67-83 A10) record during his time in Amherst.