UMass introduces Kellogg as new coach
AMHERST, Mass. -- Derek Kellogg, who played on four Atlantic 10 championship teams at Massachusetts in the 1990s, was formally introduced as his alma mater's head coach on Wednesday.
Kellogg, who had been an assistant coach at Memphis for the last eight years, attended a news conference and pep rally, where he was greeted by several hundred fans.
He replaced Travis Ford, who was hired at Oklahoma State this month after three years at UMass that featured two NIT appearances.
Athletic director John McCutcheon said Kellogg would receive a six-year contract but financial terms have not been finalized.
Kellogg, a native of nearby Springfield, played at UMass under John Calipari, the current Memphis coach. The Tigers lost to Kansas in the national championship game.
Kellogg said being UMass' coach "is my dream job."
"I remember the first day on campus walking around enjoying being around the other students," he said. "I said if it doesn't work out in the NBA I can see myself coming back here and someday being the head coach here."
In four seasons as a player and 12 as an assistant coach, Kellogg has only been a part of two teams with losing records. He said he expected the success to continue.
"I have a track record as a player and a coach as a winner. Here at UMass we went to four NCAA tournaments. Under John Calipari at Memphis we have 11 NCAA tournament wins. We were 10 seconds away from being national champions," Kellogg said. "I believe I have what it takes to take this program to the next level, which is to get to the NCAA tournament."
Kellogg, who graduated in 1995, was the team captain as a junior and senior and earned all-conference and academic honors. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UMass and then became a full-time assistant at George Mason for two seasons beginning in 1997. He also was an assistant at Youngstown State for one year.
At Memphis, Kellogg was a top recruiter the past two years.
"I recruited Derek to play at UMass, coached him there and had him as assistant here in Memphis the last eight years, so this is also a proud moment for me to see Derek get a chance to run his own program," Calipari said in a statement. "The bottom line is that Derek is a winner and knows how to build a winning program."
Sophomore guard Ricky Harris, the Minutemen's top returning scorer next season, said the players are relieved to have a coach again.
"We know who our coach is so our minds are at ease," Harris said. "The last couple days we were coaching ourselves. Coach Derek was at Memphis and we see them on TV all the time. They play a freewheeling style like we're used to. So we're going to continue to have fun and do whatever he says."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press