A couple of big moves in the league as Middle Tennessee lost legendary Kermit Davis and UTEP added an up-and-comer. This league is poised for change and the coaching changes at these two programs will be a big part of that.
It is official: Kermit Davis is leaving the Blue Raiders program “until the final second goes out” and going to Ole Miss. The move had been rumored all week and it was finally announced today.
Middle Tennessee is, of course, still in the NIT and visit Louisville on Sunday in the next round game after beating Vermont on Tuesday.
Davis has coached the Blue Raiders since the 2002-2003 season when they were back in the Sun Belt. He has won six regular season championships, two conference tournament championships, and three NCAA tournament appearances in his time at Middle (two more of each in his two years at Idaho from 88-90).
His overall win record is 403-237 or .630 in 20 total seasons up to this point, including 332-187 (.640) at Middle. The man is a legend now and he said he will be a big part in finding the replacement in Murfreesboro to continue the legacy of what they have built there.
It makes sense that Davis could feel like he peaked at MTSU after getting snubbed so clearly this season. There is room for improvement at the Blue Raiders, but Davis no doubt wants a higher ceiling and a little more room for failure. Right now, the tiniest slip up an the best team in the league was regulated to the NIT.
Meanwhile, Rodney Terry is the new head man at UTEP. Terry leaves Fresno State after putting up three straight 20+ win seasons and a 126-108 record in California in seven seasons. He began 13-20 and then by his fifth season Fresno State won the conference tournament and made the NCAA Tourney.
Among his various coaching stops as an assistant, he was at Baylor from 1996-98 where he coached North Texas’ Grant McCasland.
He is known as great recruiter and a good game coach. He made his name helping to recruit some of UT’s big hauls in the last two decades (2002-2011) where he helped bring in TJ Ford, Kevin Durant, La Marcus Aldridge, and more recently Avery Bradley , and Tristan Thompson.