A five-year contract extension for men’s basketball head coach Pat Kelsey will run through 2022, Winthrop Athletics announced Friday.
Winthrop men’s basketball embarks on the 2017-18 campaign on Friday versus Southern Illinois. Tip-off for the season opener is set for 7 p.m. with the hanging of the 2017 Big South Championship and NCAA Tournament banners taking place before the game.
“Over the past five seasons, Coach Kelsey has led our men’s basketball program to unparalleled growth in a systematic and methodical manner,” said athletics director Ken Halpin. “Through his leadership our program experienced incredible success on the court last year, which culminated with getting Winthrop back into the NCAA Tournament.
“What is not discussed enough is the impeccable character Coach Kelsey has displayed and instilled into this program,” Halpin continued. “In addition to the on-court success, our basketball student-athletes are first-class citizens within the Winthrop and Rock Hill communities, and also recorded the highest cumulative GPA in the program’s history last season. It would be an understatement to say that I am excited we are taking this next step to having Coach Kelsey lead this program into the future.”
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Kelsey owns a 102-59 overall record at Winthrop entering his sixth season at the helm. The Eagles are coming off a 26-7 finish in 2016-17 which saw them win their second consecutive Big South regular season championship and their 11th Big South Tournament title, including four straight appearances in the conference championship game. Winthrop earned its second-highest seed ever as the No. 13 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the program’s 10th overall trip to the big dance.
“I am blessed and honored to be the head basketball coach at a world-class university with an elite basketball tradition,” said Kelsey. “Winthrop is a special place. My wife, Lisa, and I love being at Winthrop and raising our family in Rock Hill. I would like to thank [university president] Dr. Mahony, Dr. Halpin and the Board of Trustees for their leadership, support and most importantly their belief in me. Due to the hard work of our players and amazing staff we have enjoyed great success on and off the court over the last five years. I believe the best is yet to come. Rock The Hill!”
Winthrop is predicted by the media to finish second in the Big South Conference this season.