The media gathered for a press conference Thursday expecting UMass to introduce Pat Kelsey as its new head basketball coach. But Kelsey never showed up and the presser was abruptly canceled.
Kelsey “realized UMass wasn't the place for him” a source told Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, and expects to return to Winthrop, where he has been the head coach since 2012. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman first reported that Kelsey “had a change of heart.”
The school announced Kelsey’s hiring Tuesday and promoted his arrival on social media. In a statement, the coach said he and his wife “are thrilled to be joining the UMass family and the Amherst community.”
- Pat Kelsey (@patkelsey) March 21, 2017
Kelsey posed for promotional photos with the school’s athletic director and mascot, and met with head football coach Mark Whipple Thursday morning.
- UMass Basketball (@UMassBasketball) March 23, 2017
- UMass Football (@UMassFootball) March 23, 2017
Kelsey changed his Twitter bio Thursday to remove all mentions to UMass.
He was an assistant coach at Wake Forest and Xavier before taking the head job at Winthrop, where he led the Eagles to the NCAA tournament this season.