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Report: NKU Working to Extend Brannen's Contract

After the historic season that the Northern Kentucky men's basketball team had, it should come as no surprise that head coach John Brannen's name has surfaced as other universities look to fill vacancies.

This week, it was rumored that Brannen was a target for the job at the University of Dayton. The position, it was announced Thursday, ultimately went to Anthony Grant, whom Brannen served as an assistant at Alabama and Virginia Commonwealth before taking the head coach's job in Highland Heights two seasons ago.

The Norse went 9-21 in Brannen's first season, but went 24-10 this season, winning the Horizon League conference tournament, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament in NKU's first year of eligibility. The season ended with a loss to Kentucky in the opening round in a game televised on CBS.

NKU athletic director Ken Bothof wants to keep Brannen.

The Northerner reported Thursday:

“I’ve been saying for the last two years that Northern Kentucky men’s basketball is a program on the rise,” Bothof said in a statement. “Coach Brannen has been terrific at the helm of the program and, obviously, instrumental in the process of building a nationally-respected team. Coach and I began discussions of a contract extension before the Horizon League Tournament. We are fully committed to doing all we can to keep him as NKU’s coach.”

In 2015, Brannen signed a 4-year contract.

In addition to the Dayton rumors, WXIX reporter Jeremy Rauch tweeted that Miami, Oh. may have been a possibility for Brannen, too:

Brannen is a local, graduating from Newport Central Catholic, and playing for Morehead State and Marshall.

-Staff report

Photo: John Brannen (RCN file)