Our long national nightmare is over, USF men’s basketball finally has a head coach. According to Jon Rothstein, Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly has chosen Kennesaw State’s Amir Abdur-Rahim to lead the Bulls in the new version of The American.
Sources: Kennesaw State's Amir Abdur-Rahim is finalizing a deal to be the next head coach at South Florida. Official announcement expected soon.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 29, 2023
Abdur-Rahim has spent the last four seasons with the Owls, turning around a program that had just one win during his first season all the way to a share of the regular season crown in the A-Sun, then winning the conference tournament to earn a bid in this year’s NCAA Tournament where they took 3-seed Xavier to the wire but fell 72-67.
The Owls made the jump to division 1 basketball in 2005-2006, and this was the first time since 2004-2005 they had a winning record. KSU went 26-9 this season.
He went 45-74 in four seasons with the Owls, and received an extension prior to this year that was set to run through 2027. Abdur-Rahim spent one year at Georgia under Tom Crean prior to taking the KSU job, and helped the Bulldogs land a top-10 recruiting class that included eventual number one overall pick Anthony Edwards. He was at Texas A&M before that which included three NCAA Tournament bids. He also spent time at College of Charleston, Murray State, and Georgia Tech.
Here’s an interesting note about his philosophy in program building:
“This is as simple as I can put it: Every job is not a transfer portal job,” he said. “Some jobs have to be built with high school kids, to be able to sustain it over time. When you’re building a different team every year, everyone’s buy-in is not the same. We wanted to build with high school kids, get older with the same guys. I’ve been fortunate and blessed to be able to do that.”
The 42 year-old from Georgia is one of 12 children, and his older brother Shareef spent 12 seasons playin the NBA, and he’s now the president of the G-League.