Marshall Hires Men's Basketball Assistant

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall head men's basketball coach Ron Jirsa has announced the hiring of Kenny Blakeney as an assistant coach for the Thundering Herd basketball program. Blakeney most recently served as an assistant coach at the University of Delaware. Blakeney replaces David "Aki" Collins, who left Marshall earlier this summer for a post at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn.

Blakeney's coaching career began in 1995-96, when he was an assistant on Lefty Driesell's staff at James Madison. After the one season at James Madison, Blakeney moved on to other coaching stops at LaSalle (1996-97), Delaware (1997-2000, 2002-06), and St. Bonaventure (2001-02). In his first stint as an assistant with the Blue Hens, he coached under current Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and and as an assistant helped coach Delaware to two NCAA Tournaments and the school's first National Invitational Tournament bid.

A 1995 Duke University graduate with a degree in history, Blakeney was a five-year member of the basketball squad. He was a redshirt member of the Blue Devils' 1990-91 national championship team, and was a key backup on Duke's 1991-92 NCAA title team that went 34-2. As a sophomore in 1992-93, Blakeney appeared in 30 games and helped the team reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and in 1993-94, he played in 27 games and averaged 5.4 points per game in route to an NCAA Finals appearance. He was a team captain in 1994-95 and during his four playing seasons, Duke was a combined 99-34, including three 20-win seasons.

A Washington, D.C. native, Blakeney played his high school basketball at DeMatha Catholic under legendary coach Morgan Wootten. At DeMatha, Blakeney was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia in 1989-90. He was selected to the Capital Classic and Great Western Shootout All-Star Games and was a member of the Converse All-American Team. In his senior season, he averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game.

"Kenny brings a strong winning mentality with him," said Jirsa. "He's played on a tremendously successful Duke team as a player and has carried that approach throughout his coaching career." Blakeney's responsibilities at Marshall will include recruiting, scouting and player development.

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