The University of Cincinnati selected Northern Kentucky University's John Brannen as its 27th head basketball coach Sunday afternoon.
The decision was met with mixed reactions from alumni of UC's basketball program.
Kenyon Martin: "I give the University of Cincinnati a F+"
Following Mick Cronin's departure from the program last Tuesday, former Bearcat forward and NBA All-Star Kenyon Martin said he was hopeful that UC would hire Nick Van Exel, a former point guard for the Bearcats from 1991-93.
Nick Van Exel Bearcats Next Head Coach. What you think?— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) April 9, 2019
Martin voiced his displeasure with the university's decision to hire Brannen on Twitter Sunday evening, saying other former players "are not happy about that hire."
Former players are not happy about that hire!!!— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) April 14, 2019
Martin later changed his stance, saying he has "no problem" with the new coach.
The Hiring Process was still a crock.— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) April 16, 2019
"[The players] deserve the highest level of praise, admiration and respect," UC Director of Athletics Mike Bohn said at Brannen's introductory press conference. "They're going to get it from me and I just want people to know how awesome they were [during the coaching search]."
Call from "The Big O"
UC basketball legend Oscar Robertson called Brannen Monday morning after the introductory press conference to introduce himself and offer congratulations.
Van Exel: "Give him a chance"
Van Exel, assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, was reportedly interested in the job.
Memphis Grizzlies assistant Nick Van Exel has interest in the head coaching job at his alma mater, Cincinnati, sources tell ESPN. Jerry Stackhouse recently left Grizzlies staff for Vanderbilt job.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 9, 2019
After not getting the job, Van Exel tweeted that UC fans need to "give [Brannen] a chance."
best for the program. Nothing wrong with that. What shouldn't happen is division. Let's welcome him and help him succeed for our program and the student/athletes. He did a great job at NKU let's give him a chance to do a great job at UC. Peace.— nick vanexel (@vanexel31) April 15, 2019