Ahead of Saturday's SEC semifinal clash with LSU, Texas A&M announced the signing of head men's basketball coach Billy Kennedy to a new five-year contract.
The school's press release did not reveal the financial terms of the deal.
Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward praised the job Kennedy has done during his fifth season with the Aggies:
This new contract and commitment is well-deserved and well-earned by Billy, who is a great ambassador for Texas A&M and who embodies our values. He has led our team to Texas A&M's first conference championship in 30 years, with an NCAA tournament invitation likely to come on Sunday. Our program is also achieving success in the classroom and in the community. We hope that Billy is leading our program for a long time to come.
Texas A&M was the regular-season co-champion in the SEC with a conference record of 13-5, and it holds a 25-7 mark overall. Kennedy was named the 2016 SEC Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Per the university's announcement, Kennedy is extremely excited about what the future holds for the program:
I am extremely appreciative of the support and confidence that Texas A&M has demonstrated to me and to our staff. This has been a team effort, and I am blessed to be coaching such a fine group of young men at an outstanding university. We still have a lot of work left to do this season, and I look forward to leading the Aggies for many years.
The 52-year-old native of Metairie, Louisiana, is on the verge of making his first NCAA tourney appearance with the Aggies after making one trip each in previous stints at Southeastern Louisiana and Murray State.
Texas A&M was in the NIT last season and the CBI the previous year, but as the No. 17 team in the nation, it is currently a threat to make a deep run during March Madness.
The Aggies haven't reached the NCAA tournament since 2010-11 under Mark Turgeon, and although it took some time for Kennedy to get Texas A&M back to that level, it is now arguably the top team in the SEC.
The patience of those in charge at Texas A&M has seemingly paid off, and Kennedy now has an opportunity to continue building what has developed into an extremely talented and competitive program.
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