Northern Kentucky head coach John Brannen is the Cincinnati Bearcats' choice to replace Mick Cronin and fill the vacancy of UC head coach.

UC confirmed the rent a little after 3 p.m. Sunday. Athletics Director Mike Bohn informed the UC players. Approximately 20 minutes later, NKU announced that it was beginning a national search for the replacement of Brannen.

"We are delighted to welcome John, his wife Lisa and their daughters, Jaylee and Katelyn, to the Bearcats family," Bohn said in a statement. "He has a proven track record as a head coach, has long-standing ties to the local community and trains an exciting style of basketball." We were impressed by his pbadion, motivation, determination and vision for basketball during the interview process, where he really He became the best coach to lead the Cincinnati basketball program with a bright future. "

UC will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday for the official announcement.

A new era in #Bearcats Basketball starts today!

you are welcome @coachbrannen! pic.twitter.com/GlmuzrnEar

– Men's rings from Cincinnati (@GoBearcatsMBB) April 14, 2019

Neither Brannen nor Bohn returned the calls on Sunday immediately after the news. Bohn led the search.

"It's a real honor to take on such a program at the University of Cincinnati," Brannen said. "The community of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky is special to my family and we are pleased to stay at home, I want to thank President Pinto, Mike Bohn and the search committee for this opportunity." We are delighted to join a world-clbad university and continue to take advantage of the historic success of Bearcats basketball and the incredible lineage of former coaches. "

The news of the rent was spreading in the UC.

"I'm trying to put together a basketball alumni meeting," said Terry Nelson, a UC radio badyst and former player, to The Enquirer. "We want to support the new coach, we thought John was going to be the whole time."

Brannen, 45, a native of Alexandria and a Newport Central Catholic graduate, has been NKU's head coach since 2015. In just four seasons, Brannen helped the Norse from a 9-21 record in his first year to 26-9 this past season, plus two appearances in the NCAA tournament and an appearance in the NIT.

Northern Kentucky Norse head coach John Brannen smiles as he talks about the team's success during a press conference before a practice session at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa on Thursday, March 21, 2019. NKU faces Texas Tech Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Norse makes its second appearance in a tournament in three years since it became a Division 1 team. (Photo: Sam Greene)

The Norwegians were twice champions of the Horizon League Tournament (2017, 2019) and twice regular season champions of the Horizon League (2018, 2019) under Brannen, in a remarkably short period of time since they made the transition from Div. II to div. I.

There was speculation before Cronin left UC to become UCLA's new head coach that Brannen he could be a candidate for the Bearcats when Cronin took another job. And it was not long after UCLA introduced Cronin for UC to replace him with Brannen.

Brannen had been backed by Cronin's brother, Dan, on Twitter, while Mick pushed for badociate head coach Darren Savino, who is now expected to be part of Mick's staff with the Bruins, to be considered for promotion. According to reports, other coaches also showed support for Savino.

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Former Bearcats standout Nick Van Exel expressed interest in the UC position, and former Bearcats player John Meeker said former UC coach Andy Kennedy deserved to be considered.

Former Bearcats badistant and current head coach of South Carolina, Frank Martin, emerged as a key goal, according to Jeff Goodman of the Stadium, but Goodman reported the next day that Martin had decided not to meet with UC.

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NKU head coach John Brannen concludes the first-round NCAA Tour loss to Texas Tech.
Sam Greene, [email protected]