Of all the reasons today’s NCAA Tournament game against Colorado State will be special, only one made Murray State Head Coach Steve Prohm tear up.
Billy Kennedy will be in attendance.
Kennedy, former head coach of the Racers, left Murray State in May for the head coaching position at Texas A&M opening the door for Prohm’s hiring. However, Kennedy is more than a former boss to Prohm.
“He’s my one mentor in the business,” Prohm said. “So to have him here (today) and to watch me coach in my first NCAA Tournament appearance and to watch his former players play in the NCAA Tournament (today), it will be a special moment.”
Before being hired as head coach of the Racers in May Prohm served as an assistant coach for 13 years, 12 of which were under Kennedy. In that time the pair won four championships and went the NCAA Tournament twice, but what Prohm treasures most is their special relationship.
“I’ve been able to grow so much under him, not just as a coach, but most importantly as a person and as a leader and as a man to help these players grow,” Prohm said.
Growth is something the Racers have experienced this year as they have broken and set numerous records, including the programs longest winning streak with the season start of 23-0, surpassing the 19-game winning streak set by Kennedy.
“I’ve been extremely blessed,” Prohm said. “The one thing that as a coach and just in life in general, you want to surround yourself with good people in any line of business. When you surround yourself with good people, it gives you an opportunity to be successful.”
Success is something the Murray State men’s basketball program has been acquainted with; achieving 25 straight winning seasons include this year where they have exceeded expectations time and again. Despite his mentor’s heavy influence, Prohm credits the team’s success to one thing.
“God’s blessed me,” Prohm said. “God’s blessed this program, this team. It’s been an unbelievable journey, just from the whole onset.”