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Kennesaw State hires PSU assistant as head coach

Kennesaw, GA (Sports Network) - Lewis Preston, a former assistant at several top basketball programs, has been named head coach at Kennesaw State.

The school made the announcement Wednesday and said Preston will be formally introduced at a press conference in the coming weeks.

"He is one of the best collegiate assistant basketball coaches around, and we are fortunate to have him on board," new Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams said in a statement.

Preston, 40, served as an assistant coach under Ed DeChellis at Penn State for the past three seasons and helped the Nittany Lions reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade last month.

He was an assistant for two years under Billy Donovan, including 2007, when Florida won the national championship, and also served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame for six years.

Preston replaces Tony Ingle, whose contract wasn't renewed following the 2010-11 season. The school, citing its unhappiness with academic performance in the program, also let go Ingle's staff.

Williams said Preston's "leadership and drive to win is unsurpassed."

"He has what it takes to both motivate and inspire our players, and to fully leverage the top-notch basketball facilities he will have at his disposal," Williams said.

In a statement, Preston called it a "tremendous opportunity" and said he was "thrilled and humbled" by the hiring.

"My focus has always been on developing my student-athletes, both athletically and academically, to their fullest potential," Preston said. "I can't wait to get started on hiring our assistant coaches and recruiting the additional players that will complement our current team. I am happy to be coming to KSU as it kicks its athletics program into high gear."

DeChellis issued a statement, saying he was happy that Preston got a chance to take over another program and that he would be hard to replace on the Penn State staff.

04/20 16:56:27 ET