John Brannen was named the 27th head coach in University of Cincinnati men’s basketball history on April 14, 2019.
Brannen has served as Northern Kentucky University’s head coach since the 2015-2016 season, taking the Norse to unprecedented success as the school’s athletics department underwent reclassification. Since earning active Division I status eligibility prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, the Norse men’s basketball program has compiled a 72-30 overall record, making three consecutive postseason appearances (NCAA Tournament [2017, 2019], NIT ), winning back-to-back Horizon League regular-season championships (2018, 2019) and claiming a pair of conference tournament titles (2017, 2019). No other school in the nation has enjoyed NKU’s amount of success in its first three years with active status at the Division I level.
Brannen, whose coaching career spans 20 seasons, owns an 82-52 career record as head coach. He registered an 81-51 ledger in four seasons at NKU and a 1-1 mark as Alabama’s interim head coach at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.
The 2017 Horizon League Coach of the Year, Brannen led the Norse to a 24-11 record in 2016-17, the Horizon League Tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the school’s first season of active status eligibility. NKU’s win total was an improvement of 15 victories from the previous season, marking the third-best turnaround in the nation behind only UCLA and Minnesota.
Brannen guided NKU to a 22-10 mark, the Horizon League regular-season championship and an NIT appearance in 2017-18. Last season, NKU posted a Division I-era record 26 wins with eight losses, claiming the league regular-season championship and tournament title and its second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years.
// THE BRANNEN FILE
Hometown: Alexandria, Ky.
Alma Mater: Marshall, 1997
Family: wife, Lisa; twin daughters, Jaylee and Katelyn
// COACHING EXPERIENCE
1999-2000: Assistant Coach, Charleston
2001-2003: Assistant Coach, Eastern Kentucky
2004-2006: Assistant Coach, St. Bonaventure
2007-2009: Assistant Coach, VCU
2010-2013: Assistant Coach, Alabama
2014-2015: Associate Head Coach, Alabama
2016-2019: Head Coach, Northern Kentucky
2019-Present: Head Coach, Cincinnati