During his one season at Georgia, the Bulldogs posted a 16-14 record (7-9 SEC, 5th East) and advanced to the NIT First Round. Despite playing with only seven scholarship players, Georgia posted a regular-season sweep of Kentucky, the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and registered an 83-80 double-overtime victory against NCAA runner-up Georgia Tech.
McDonald came to Georgia after spending the previous five years (1998-2003) under Felton at Western Kentucky. While at WKU, McDonald was instrumental in leading the Hilltoppers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2001-03). Western Kentucky recorded an overall record of 100-54 (.649) during McDonald's five seasons, including a 76-20 (.792) mark during his final three years (24-7 in 2000-01, 28-4 in 2001-02, 24-9 in 2002-03). The Hilltoppers also captured three straight Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles during McDonald's final three seasons.
"From the moment that Frank Haith got involved in the Miami job search, I've had Ken McDonald's name on my mind," said Barnes, who has guided Texas to three consecutive trips to the NCAA "Sweet 16" for the first time in school history. "I have been impressed with how much he has grown during his time with Dennis Felton at both Western Kentucky and Georgia. Ken has been a big part of the success that each of those schools has had, and the job that he did at Georgia this past year, both on the court and recruiting, while battling a difficult situation was excellent.
"I like Ken's energy and he has always impressed me with his work ethic," Barnes continued. "He was one of the hardest workers I've ever coached, and that has definitely carried over to his coaching career. Our players are really going to enjoy working with him, and I believe that he will be a great complement to both (UT assistant coaches) Rodney Terry and Russell Springmann."
Prior to joining the staff at Western Kentucky, McDonald served four years (1994-98) as an assistant coach at Clemson under Barnes. The Tigers posted a 74-48 (.607) mark during this time and advanced to a school-record three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Clemson reached a No. 2 national ranking, tops in school history, during its 1996-97 "Sweet 16" season.
"This is an opportunity to join an elite program," McDonald said. "The two factors that were key for me in this decision were Rick Barnes and the level to which the Texas program has risen. Obviously, I have a strong relationship with Coach Barnes, starting from my days as a player at Providence and for the last 10 years in the coaching fraternity. Working at The University of Texas also gives me the opportunity to work at a program that has established itself as one of the best in the nation. I am coming to Texas in hopes of helping win a National Championship."
McDonald graduated from Providence College in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in social science. A two-year letterwinner for the Friars (1991-92) who played under Barnes, McDonald still stands as the top career free throw shooter in Providence history (minimum of 45 attempts) with a .917 mark (44-of-48). He played in 50 games during his two years and averaged 5.6 points and 1.5 rebounds per game while hitting 66 career three-pointers for the Friars. Providence went 19-13 and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals during his junior season.
"Ken has been a great personal friend and colleague and a tremendous assett to our coaching staff," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "We've been together 10 years now, which is a long time in the coaching profession. I greatly appreciate his help in building one program and helping us get started in a second program here at Georgia. I know he's excited about rejoining Coach Barnes, and I know he'll do a tremendous job at Texas."
After attending North Providence High School, he played two seasons at the Community College of Rhode Island, where he earned first-team junior college All-America honors. He set school records for single-season scoring as well as three-pointers made in a game, season and career.
McDonald also played professional basketball in Ireland in 1992-93. Born March 4, 1970, McDonald is a native of North Providence, R.I.
The Ken McDonald File
Full name Kenneth Michael McDonald
Date of birth March 4, 1970
Hometown North Providence, R.I.
College Providence College '92
College Coaching Experience
2003-04 Assistant Coach Georgia
1998-2003 Assistant Coach Western Kentucky
1994-1998 Assistant Coach Clemson