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Central Michigan hires Tony Barbee as head coach

Syndication: Louisville

UK G Keldon Johnson talks with assistant Tony Barbee during the University of Kentucky men’s basketball game against Arkansas at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. Kentucky basketball vs. Arkansas, Tony Barbee

Mike Weaver/Special to Courier Journal

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Central Michigan has hired Kentucky assistant Tony Barbee is its new head coach.

Barbee replaces Keno Davis, who was fired after nine years at the helm.

“I’m humbled and excited to be the next head coach at Central Michigan University,” Barbee said. “It’s been a dream of mine to be in the first chair leading another basketball program.”

Barbee spent the last seven seasons on John Calipari’s staff at Kentucky. Barbee has also been a head coach at Auburn and UTEP, which he led to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010.

“Coach Barbee met all the criteria we had to find the right individual to re-energize our men’s basketball program and get us back to competing for championships,” CMU athletic director Amy Folan said. “He is a proven championship-caliber head coach, an elite recruiter who is well versed in the national landscape and has a strong background in providing a great student-athlete experience on and off the court.”