Following the most successful first three years of active status in NCAA Division I history, Northern Kentucky University will commence a search for a head men’s basketball coach after John Brannen has accepted the head coaching role at the University of Cincinnati.

“I, along with NKU and the Northern Kentucky Community, am extremely thankful of John’s accomplishments as our head men’s basketball coach the last four years,” said Ken Bothof, Director of Athletics. “We wish John, Lisa, Jaylee and Katelyn nothing but the best as John transitions to head coach at UC.”

“Coach Brannen has been a terrific ambassador for Northern Kentucky University during his four years as our head coach,” stated Northern Kentucky University President Ashish Vaidya. “We are grateful for what he has done to build the Norse men’s basketball brand into a premier program in the Horizon League and wish both John and his family well in this next endeavor. Norse men’s basketball is positioned to continue its remarkable success and showcase this great university.”

In the last three years, Northern Kentucky has won the two Horizon League Regular-Season Championships, two Horizon League Tournament titles, played in the NCAA Tournament twice and participated in the NIT. No other Division I program has experienced that amount of success in its first three seasons with active status in the history of the NCAA.

The Norse have gone 72-30 during the last three seasons, including a 40-14 mark in Horizon League play.

“During my tenure as athletic director at Northern Kentucky University, sustained support from the community has allowed us to invest in our men’s basketball program and will allow future enhancements,” continued Bothof. “Those investments, both past and future, along with the unprecedented success our program has had the last three years, will help attract and hire a successful coach who continues to elevate our men’s basketball program.”

A national search for the sixth head coach in Northern Kentucky history will begin immediately.



Bryan McEldowney

Assistant Athletic Director

Communications and Media Services

Northern Kentucky University


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