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Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy Has Stepped Down Immediately

NCAA basketballs sitting in a ball rack on the court.

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 21: NCAA basketballs in a rack on the court during the shoot-around proipr to the game between the Florida Gators and the Fresno State Bulldogs during the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on December 21, 2013 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Florida defeated Fresno State 66-49. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy has stepped down immediately, the program announced.

Assistant coach Tony Madlock will serve as the acting head coach for the remainder of the season.

On Monday, Kennedy announced he would stay on as the head coach through the end of the 2017-18 campaign but would step down at season's end.

Now, plans have changed.

In a new statement released today, Kennedy said his announcement on Monday was supposed to lift "the cloud" forming over the Rebels program due to the speculation about his future, stop the distraction that speculation caused and relieve any pressure felt by current players.

Kennedy said his decision had helped with the first two goals, but not the third.

It has become readily apparent to me that my continued presence as the head coach is proving detrimental to these players finishing the season in a fashion that is representative of The Standard for this program that has been clearly established and maintained for over a decade; therefore, I believe that it is in everyone’s best interest that I exit my role as head coach effective immediately. We all know that “clean breaks” are always best, and I should have realized this last Monday. My apologies.

As I’ve stated before, I am Very Thankful to have had the opportunity to serve as the Head Coach for Men’s Basketball at The University of Mississippi for 12 years! This Community, this University, the SEC, have all overwhelmed me and my family with incredible grace and support. We will forever be woven into the fabric of this Very Special place – “Hell Yeah, Damn Right!!”

Kennedy led Ole Miss to a winning record in each of his first 11 seasons, including six NIT appearances and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss is 11-16 this season.

For his career in Oxford, Kennedy won over 60 percent of his games. Prior to coming to Ole Miss, Kennedy went 21-13 in his only season at Cincinnati in 2005-06.