Armstrong already enjoying director's job

Bill Armstrong may not have the same duties and responsibilities of other assistants on the staff, but as Director of Basketball Operations, his job is a highly important one. This is the third story in a series on the new assistants. Part one last Wednesday - Owen Miller. Part two last Saturday - Torrey Ward.

Bill Armstrong was named Director of Operations for Ole Miss men's basketball not long after Andy Kennedy was named head coach. It's the next step in the basketball life he's led.

Armstrong and Kennedy go way back to the new Rebel head coach's playing days at UAB when Armstrong was around the program a lot.

"I was a ballboy for UAB basketball when I was a kid and Coach Kennedy was playing," said Armstrong, whose father was a graduate assistant for the Blazers at the time. "I went to camp there and he was the best player on the team. Every kid looked up to him and liked to watch him play and to get to know him."

Good thing for Armstrong. It's paid off nearly two decades later as Kennedy brought Armstrong on board to help out in his new job in Oxford.

"This is a great step for me," said Armstrong, who played at Oneonta High north of Birmingham where his dad became head coach after the UAB years and prior to Armstrong's high school years.

Armstrong's job is perhaps more in the office than out. He can't travel to recruit. He sets up travel plans for the team. He can do some scouting. He will break down film and help in that area. That's not all, but you get the picture.

Armstrong has spent the last three years as an assistant coach at Birmingham-Southern. He joined the BSC staff after serving as an assistant at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. Prior to his stint at Chipola, Armstrong was a graduate assistant for UAB during the 2001-02 campaign under then-head coach Murray Bartow.

During college, Armstrong was a four-year letterwinner as a point guard for the Blazers (1998-2001) and served as team captain as a senior.

"My dream is to one day be a head coach," Armstrong said. "This is a great opportunity. I'm excited about being here and having a chance to win games with us being in the national spotlight."

The 28-year-old Armstrong and his wife, Kenna, a former UAB cheerleader, are the parents of two daughters, Ella Michele and Sara McKay.

"Andy Kennedy last season was one of the big stories in college basketball," Armstrong said. "There weren't many other coaches talked about as much as he was. He's nationally known now and will do a great job here. I'm glad to be here to have this opportunity to work with him."

And Armstrong believes Oxford is the perfect fit for his family as well.

"Everyone I've met here has been nice and hospitable. I'm looking forward to raising my family here in Oxford. I'm extremely excited about coaching at the highest level at Ole Miss."

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