CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT men's basketball associate head coach, Kevin Byrne, has been named the next head coach at Ohio Northern University, the school announced on Monday. Byrne is coming off of a four-year stint with the Engineers, during which time he helped guide the team to four-straight NCAA tournament appearances and three New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) titles. Byrne becomes 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.
"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 four years in Cambridge, the Cardinal and Gray had its most successful stretch in the program's 110-year history, winning at least 20 games each year and compiling an overall record of 92-25. This past season, Tech set a program record with 29 wins and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Division III Final Four.
Prior to arriving at MIT, Byrne was the assistant coach at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, for eight seasons. During his tenure at Carnegie Mellon, the squad set school records for wins, won its first-ever University Athletic Association (UAA) crown and earned its second trip to the NCAA tournament. The Carnegie Mellon coaches were named the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year in both 2004-05 and 2005-06.
"This is a great hire for Ohio Northern University," said David H. Koch Head Coach Larry Anderson. "We will miss [Kevin] and what he brought to the MIT Basketball program but at the same time we are excited for him to have an opportunity to take on this new challenge. Kevin spent his whole life preparing for this moment and it's nice to see his patience rewarded. The people at Ohio Northern have found out what we've known all along in that Kevin is smart, passionate and has a tremendous work ethic. He did an outstanding job here at MIT and I am confident he will be a great leader for Ohio Northern Basketball Program."
Before entering the coaching ranks, Byrne enjoyed a three year professional career playing in England and Ireland. Prior to this he played at Carnegie Mellon where 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.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Byrne has a B.A. in psychology from Carnegie Mellon and also earned an M.A. in psychology at Duquesne University.