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Monday, April 15, 2019

Who'll be the next NKU basketball coach?

John Brannen has been named the 27th head coach in University of Cincinnati men's basketball history, replacing longtime coach Mick Cronin.

He was introduced to the public Monday morning at Fifth Third Arena.

Brannen and his wife Lisa are northern Kentucky natives and reside there now with their twin daughters, Jaylee and Katelyn.

Brannen is a Newport Central Catholic alum.

No other Division I program has won a regular-season league title (2018), won a league tournament title (2017), played in the NCAA Tournament (2017) and played in either the National Invitation Tournament (2018) or the NCAA Tournament again in its first two years with active Division I membership.

"It's truly an honor to take over such a storied program at the University of Cincinnati," Brannen said. "The Cincinnati-northern Kentucky community is special to my family, and we are happy to remain at home."

Cronin left Cincinnati last week to take a job at the University of California, Los Angeles.

UC will have to buyout Brannen's contract from NKU, as he agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Norse on June 29, 2018.

So who is NKU looking to replace Brannen with?

A few names that are being considered by NKU's national search committee:

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Darrin Horn

He's the associate head coach for the University of Texas is a native of Glasgow, Ky. He has been a head coach at Western Kentucky and South Carolina and an assistant at Western Kentucky, Morehead State and Marquette.

Pat Kelsey

He's the head coach at Winthrop is an Elder High School and Xavier University graduate and a former assistant at Wake Forest and Xavier. His sister Katie Kelsey-Cluxton is NKU’s all-time assist leader in women’s basketball and was a member of the school’s 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame class. Pat’s brother Mike “Walt” Kelsey is in the NKU Hall of Fame. So is Katie’s husband and Pat’s brother-in-law Paul Cluxton.

Darren Savino

Savino was a key member of Cronin's staff at UC since 2010 and was associate head coach the past year. Savino has also coached at Rutgers, Murray State, Quinnipiac University, University of New Mexico, East Carolina University and St. John’s University.

Ryan Pedon

He's an Ohio State assistant who has also worked at the same role at Butler University, Xavier, Toledo and Miami University.

Ron Nored

He was a former Northern Kentucky University assistant during John Brannen’s first season as head coach. He coached with the Boston Celtics in 2014-15 and has been a head coach in the NBA D-League for the Maine Red Claws and the Long Island Nets.

Luke Murray

Murray was an assistant at the University of Louisville last year as well as Rhode Island, Towson, Wagner and Arizona, with former Musketeers coach Sean Miller. He's the son of comedian, Bill Murray.

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