Middle Tennessee hires UNC Asheville's Nick McDevitt

FILE - In this March 18, 2016, file photo ,UNC Asheville head coach Nick McDevitt directs his team during the first half of against Villanova in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in New York. A person familiar with the situation says Middle Tennessee has agreed on a deal for UNC Asheville's Nick McDevitt to be the Blue Raiders basketball coach. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Saturday< March 24, 2018, because the school hasn't announced the hire. McDevitt replaces Kermit Davis, who left to coach Mississippi after going 332-188 in 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- Middle Tennessee has a new basketball coach in Nick McDevitt, who led UNC Asheville to the Big South regular-season title the last two years.

He replaces Kermit Davis, who left to coach Mississippi after going 332-188 in 16 seasons. McDevitt will be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.

''This program has enjoyed many successes over the last several years under Kermit Davis' leadership, and we're excited to build upon and grow the program moving forward,'' McDevitt said in a statement Saturday.

He inherits a Middle Tennessee program that emerged as a mid-major power under Davis.

Middle Tennessee upset Michigan State in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and knocked off Minnesota in the 2017 NCAAs. The Blue Raiders were ranked in the Top 25 for portions of this season before ending up with a 25-8 record and NIT berth.

''I've coached against Nick's teams, and he does a fantastic job with his players and is a great recruiter,'' Davis said in a statement. ''He'll do a wonderful job, and I believe he has a personality that the Murfreesboro community will really embrace.''

The 38-year-old McDevitt went 98-66 record in five seasons at UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs won the Big South's conference tournament in 2016, earned a share of the league's regular-season title in 2017 and won the conference's regular-season championship outright this season. The Bulldogs finished this season 21-13 and reached the NIT.

McDevitt played for UNC Asheville and was hired as an assistant at his alma mater immediately after he finished playing for the Bulldogs in 2001. He remained an assistant there until his promotion to head coach in 2013.


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