Rock Hill, SC – Winthrop University athletic director Tom Hickman announced on Thursday that Pat Kelsey has been named the sixth men's head basketball coach in school history.
Kelsey, a former assistant coach at Wake Forest and associate head coach at Xavier, replaces Randy Peele, who was fired on March 5.
He will be formally introduced next week.
"We were fortunate to have a large group of highly-qualified and successful coaches in the candidate pool for our head men's basketball coach," Hickman said. "Our vacancy created a lot of interest in the basketball coaching community. Pat Kelsey emerged as a dynamic and energetic leader, who has a rich background in working for and learning from highly successful coaches. Pat really stood out during the interview process. We look forward to having him join the Winthrop family as our next men's head basketball coach and know that he will excite our fan base."
Kelsey, 36, began his coaching career at his prep alma mater, Cincinnati's Elder High School, from 1998-2001, before moving on to Wake Forest as director of basketball operations under the late Skip Prosser. Kelsey was then promoted to assistant coach prior to the 2004-05 season.
During his time in Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacons averaged nearly 21 wins per year in eight seasons, while earning five NCAA Tournament berths, an NIT Tournament berth and an ACC regular-season championship.
Kelsey spent the past two seasons as an associate head coach at Xavier under head coach Chris Mack.
Kelsey's coaching philosophy includes a fast-paced offense, with a strong emphasis on defense.
"My mentor, Coach Prosser, who I played and worked under for more than a decade was famous for saying: 'the older I get, the faster I want to play.' I think that applies to me a little bit," Kelsey said. "Our brand offensively will be one that emphasizes playing with pace. We will be a tough, defensive- minded team that will play with a fast, 'downhill' offensive mentality."