Former UMass coach Derek Kellogg says thanks

  • Massachusetts men's NCAA college basketball coach Derek Kellogg speaks to reporters during Atlantic 10 media day in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

  • UMass Coach Derek Kellogg, left, former player Marcus Camby and assisant coach Andy Allison have fun during the Derek Kellogg Basketball Camp, Wednesday at the UMass Basketball Champions Center.

  • UMass coach Derek Kellogg, has a few words with his players during a timeout J. Anthony Roberts

Published: 3/17/2017 9:31:34 PM

The following is the letter former UMass men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg tweeted to the community Friday.

At this time I would like to thank the University of Massachusetts and the entire UMass family for affording me the remarkable opportunity of serving as your head coach of the men’s basketball team. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the University, its student athletes and our community over the past nine years. I am supremely proud of our student athletes, past and present, and all they have achieved in the classroom on the court and in our community.

Except for a small window of time, Massachusetts has been my home. Having grown up in Springfield, UMass was an obvious choice for me as an undergrad ballplayer. It was there I met my wife Nicole and began pursuing a career in basketball. In 2008, without hesitation, as new parents, we passed on other opportunities and returned to Amherst because of our shared love of the University and this community. When I returned, I set out to accomplish two things: raise our son Max in a small town community close to immediate family and close friends and build up the very basketball team that had brought me so much fulfillment as a college player. I cannot justly express the pride I feel in the successes of both of these endeavors. It has been an extraordinary journey.

To my players, assistant coaches, team managers, trainers, doctors, faculty, academic support staff, athletic administration, students, alumni and supporters - be proud of our accomplishments for there were many. My proudest achievement while the head basketball coach is the academic success and graduation rate of these student athletes. It has been satisfying to witness former players return to complete their academic requirements to earn degrees under my tenure.

Off the court, we have passionately supported Coaches vs. Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The Basketball Hall of Fame. Our community outreach projects and summer camps have no doubt touched lives and brought joy to many youngsters. I would like to make a special thank you to Father Smegal at St. Brigid’s parish and our parish family for their support and love over the past nine years.

We have worked tirelessly to represent the University of Massachusetts with integrity and honor. We were proud to bring UMass back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in18 years and to the 2012 NIT Final Four and 2013 NIT.

Coaching basketball went far beyond the court. It gave me an opportunity to positively influence the development of our student athletes and help them become productive members of society. My coaching staff and I worked to build strong basketball players and more importantly strong men that are well prepared for their life after UMass. The relationships forged are based on mutual trust and respect, hard work, loyalty and a commitment to excellence and these relationships will last a lifetime. I have been fortunate to recruit and coach players whose notable talents are paralleled by the quality of their character. I am confident that they represented themselves, our community and the University with the highest standards at all times.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the fans and alumni. You embraced my family, our players and our team. You are UMass basketball. Personally delivering season tickets to your door was one of my favorite connections with the Amherst community and I will miss all of you. I am honored by your devotion, enthusiasm and never-ending support of the team and its players. I will always value your good will, support and dedication to UMass basketball. I wish your team continued growth and success.

Coach Kellogg

UMass ’95

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