Texas A&M hires Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams as head coach

Texas A&M basketball has hired Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams to replace Billy Kennedy as head basketball coach.

Williams, a Van Alstyne native, is considered one of the fastest-rising coaches in America. He spent two years as an assistant coach at Texas A&M from 2004 to 2006 under Billy Gillespie, and helped lead the Aggies to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly 20 years.

After that, Williams spent time at New Orleans and Marquette, where he compiled an impressive resume. In 2014, he took over at Virginia Tech and helped lead a historically moribund Hokies program to new heights. Williams led Virginia Tech to the tournament in consecutive years for the first time since it was in the Metro Conference 30 years ago. He capped it off with a tight Sweet 16 loss to Duke in 2019.

Williams will be tasked with revolutionizing a Texas A&M program that has only one real period of sustained success in program history. The Aggies made the tournament every year from 2006 to 2011. That stretch makes up nearly half the appearances in the program’s 107-year history. For all the criticism Kennedy received, he has a third of all the tournament wins in Texas A&M history.

Williams has a career .620 winning percentage. After a brutal first season in Blacksburg, Va., Williams went an impressive 42-30 in ACC play. Virginia Tech finished the season ranked in the AP Top 25 for just the second time in program history.

Texas A&M is expected to return its top three scores in Savion Flagg, Wendell Mitchell and TJ Starks in 2019-20. The Aggies have only one player committed in the 2019 recruiting class: Alabama forward Kobe Brown. Four-star guard Chris Harris received his release from the Texas A&M program last month.

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