He’s ready to get back to the sidelines.
A weeks-long search finally came to an end April 18 as Long Island University Brooklyn officially introduced Derek Kellogg as the new men’s basketball coach.
Kellogg is fresh off a nine-year stint at the University of Massachusetts and the new Blackbirds’ leader is anxious to get to work in Brooklyn.
“Brooklyn is the beating heart of basketball and is a great place to build a championship caliber program,” he said. “I take a tremendous amount of pride in this opportunity and the challenge of taking Brooklyn to the next level. I want to make this program a consistent title contender, year in and year out. That begins with recruitment, and I have already begun.”
Kellogg, however, won’t have it easy. Long Island University parted ways with coach Jack Perri after five seasons and a long coaching search has left the Blackbirds a step behind now that the live recruiting period has begun.
Still, the program — and Kellogg — are certain it can fill out a roster sooner rather than later.
“This is a player’s first program,” Kellogg said. “And I’m looking to building on what you guys have accomplished in the past and trying to make things even better. We’re going to do this thing together. I’m looking forward to getting to work very quickly.”
Kellogg – who is the 14th head coach in Blackbirds’ basketball history – didn’t have a perfect finish to his tenure in Massachusetts. While he notched three straight 20-win seasons from 2011 to 2014, the Minutemen went 15–18 this past season. He finished with a 155–137 record at Massachusetts and the team notched one NCAA tournament appearance.
Prior to serving as a head coach, Kellogg also worked as an assistant at George Mason, Youngstown State and Memphis. He also played at Massachusetts under current Kentucky coach John Calipari.
The expectations for Kellogg are high coming into Brooklyn and the coach was quick to acknowledge his own hopes for the future. Simply put, he wants to win. Long Island University lost in the first-round of the conference tournament this season and haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2012.
“I’m going to have an unrelenting focus to make this a program that will contend for NCAA tournament bids every year and be at the top of the NEC Conference,” Kellogg said. “That’s going to be our goal as a team and I think that should be our goal as a community.”
It’s a quick turnaround for Kellogg and his family – all of whom were front and center during the introductory press conference at Barclays Center – but it’s also an opportunity the long-time coach is excited for.
The Blackbirds are hoping to start flying high again and Kellogg is thankful to be a part of it.
“I didn’t know if I would be getting back in this quickly,” he said. “I knew when we met and talked, this would be the place for my family.”