Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU Seeks Replacement for Kennedy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU Seeks Replacement for Kennedy

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- With the start of recruiting season less than a

month away, Florida State University Athletic Director Dave Hart

will move swiftly in his search to replace basketball coach Pat

Kennedy.

Kennedy resigned Wednesday night to assume the same position at

DePaul University, ending his strained relationship with Hart.

Kennedy, 202-131 in 11 seasons with five NCAA Tournament and

two National Invitation Tournament appearances at FSU, had

fallen out of favor with Hart after three consecutive losing

seasons (1994-96). Hart removed the rollover clause from

Kennedy's contract after the 1996 season and refused to

negotiate a new deal after the Seminoles improved to 20-12 last

season, including a trip to the NIT championship game.

"Pat Kennedy did a lot to move this basketball program forward

during his tenure at Florida State," Hart said in a statement

released yesterday by the FSU Sports Information office.

As Kennedy was introduced as DePaul's new coach yesterday in

Chicago, Hart was working to identify a successor. He spent

nearly four hours on the telephone Wednesday night exploring the

availability of candidates, but acknowledged that a number of

potential successors were no longer available.

That group likely included new Kentucky coach Tubby Smith and

former Duke assistant Tommy Amaker, recently appointed head

coach at Seton Hall. Both Smith and Amaker are African-American,

heightening speculation that Hart will look to hire an

African-American as the program's sixth coach. Florida State has

never had a black head coach in any sport in the school's

50-year athletic history.

The group of highly regarded blacks with headcoaching

experience is topped by Tulane's Perry Clark, a prime target

according to one FSU source who spoke on condition of anonymity. …

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