Kevin Byrne named head men's basketball coach at Ohio Northern
ADA — Kevin Byrne has been named the head men's basketball coach at Ohio Northern University.
Byrne comes to Ohio Northern after a 4-year stint at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as their associate head coach, and brings 13 years of coaching experience and three years of experience playing professional basketball to the Polar Bears.
The Akron, Ohio, native also has coaching stints at Marietta and Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) and played professional basketball for three seasons in Europe.
"I am very excited and thankful to have this great opportunity," Byrne said. "Ohio Northern is one of the top Division III programs in the country and I want to add to that legacy. I was in a really good position at MIT, but this was just an outstanding opportunity to be a head coach at a great institution like ONU and stay for a long time. I am also very happy to move back home to Ohio. I feel like I hit the jackpot."
During Byrne's stint at MIT, the team set the school record for wins, earned its first NEWMAC championship, and made the first three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in program history.
Last season, Byrne helped guide MIT to a 29-2 record and trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament Final Four.
Prior to coming to MIT, Byrne was the assistant coach at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon.
During Byrne's eight-year tenure, the team set the school record for wins with 19 (2004-05 season) and experienced the first 20-win season and first ever UAA championship, as well as the second ever trip to the NCAA Tournament (2005-06 season).
The Carnegie Mellon coaches were named the Coaching Staff of the Year in the UAA in both 2004-05 and 2005-06.
After graduating from CMU, Byrne enjoyed a three-year professional career playing in England and Ireland.
While at Carnegie Mellon, he graduated as the third all-time leading scorer and fifth all-time leading rebounder. Byrne's graduating class graduated with the most wins of any graduating class in Carnegie Mellon history.
Byrne earned a B.A. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon in 1996 and an M.A. in Psychology from Duquesne.
"We are excited to start this new chapter for ONU Basketball," ONU director of athletics Tom Simmons said. "The focus throughout the process was to give our student-athletes the best possible experience along with our renewed commitment to compete for the OAC championship and contend for the NCAA championship. We continue to embrace our tradition and will do all we can to help Kevin return the program to national prominence."
Byrne is only the seventh head men's basketball coach at ONU since 1949 and replaces John Rhodes, who went 39-41 in three seasons since 2009-10.
The Polar Bear men's basketball team finished 14-14 overall in 2011-12 and was sixth in the Ohio Athletic Conference with an 8-10 record.