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Kermit Davis agrees to Contract extension to '09
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It was reported in various sites that Kermit was USM's prime target, but Southern Mississippi was too much of a lateral move in the end.

<span style='color:blue'>Men's Basketball - March 23, 2004
Davis Staying Put at Middle Tennessee, Receives Two-Year Extension
MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee men's basketball coach Kermit Davis has withdrawn his name from consideration for the coaching vacancy at Southern Mississippi and will remain with the Blue Raiders.

Davis, a native of Leakesville Miss., has agreed, in principal, to a two-year contract extension through the 2008-09 season. His new contract will be finalized within the next week or two.

"Kermit is an excellent basketball coach and the right guy to continue to improve where we want to go - a conference championship and the NCAA Tournament," Middle Tennessee athletics director Boots Donnelly said. "He is very well-liked in the community and has great rapport within our athletics department. We are very pleased to extend Kermit's contract and happy that he has chosen to stay at Middle Tennessee."

Davis' name had surfaced as a strong candidate for the Southern Mississippi job after former coach James Green resigned after eight seasons. Davis had a series of meetings with Southern Mississippi athletics director Richard Giannini before withdrawing his name from consideration Monday.

"Coach Donnelly and Dr. (Sidney) McPhee have made a great commitment to myself, our staff and our program," Davis said. "We feel very good about where we are and where we are going. I feel very strong about seeing it through at Middle Tennessee."

Davis just finished leading the Blue Raiders to a 17-12 record and berth in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals, despite starting two freshman and playing four. He has led Middle Tennessee to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996-97, 1997-98 in his first two seasons. Davis was named Sun Belt Conference coach of the year in 2003. The Blue Raiders reached the conference championship game for the first time since 1990 in his first season.

"Southern Mississippi is an excellent opportunity for some coach," Davis said. "But at this time, I feel a tremendous loyalty to our players and our administration and our fans who support our program to stay at Middle Tennessee."

Middle Tennessee's basketball program has seen a 66 percent increase in attendance in Davis' two seasons. The Blue Raiders return four starters from this season's 17-12 squad. </span>
03-25-2004 07:02 PM
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