PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -Providence hired Keno Davis as its new coach Tuesday, less than two weeks after he was honored as The Associated Press national coach of the year at Drake.
Providence planned an afternoon news conference to introduce Davis.
Davis won the AP award in his rookie year as a head coach. He took Drake to its first NCAA tournament since 1971, and led the Bulldogs to a school-record 28-5 record and their first national ranking in 33 years.
``I believe Keno Davis has the knowledge, passion, commitment and ability to bring Providence College basketball to another level,'' Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll said in a statement.
Davis replaces Tim Welsh, who was fired last month after taking Providence to two NCAA tournament appearances in 10 seasons. The hiring ends a protracted job search during which George Mason's Jim Larranaga, a Providence alum, and Massachusetts' Travis Ford turned down offers from the Friars.
Providence finished with losing records in three of the last four seasons. The Friars went 6-12 in the Big East and 15-16 overall this season, playing all but one game without injured starting point guard Sharaud Curry.
Davis succeeded his father, Tom Davis, as Drake coach in March 2007. He inherited a team that had been picked to finish ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll. Instead, Drake opened with a 16-1 record, cracked the national rankings in January and then knocked off then-No. 8 Butler a month later.
The Bulldogs won their first MVC regular-season title since 1971 and their first conference tournament title. They entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 5 seed in the West Regional, but were upset in overtime by Western Kentucky, 101-99, in the first round.
Davis and his father became the first father and son to win the national coach of the year award. Tom Davis won it in 1987 as coach of Iowa.
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