Prior to the end of the of the regular season, Brannen had been in discussions about the contract, according to Director of Athletics Ken Bothof.
“John has certainly proven that he possesses the attributes we desire in a head coach – integrity, care for his student-athletes, the ability to engage with both the campus and local communities and the gift to build a championship-caliber program,” Bothof said in the news release.
Just in his second year as head coach, Brannen led the NKU Norse to a victory at the 2017 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship, which subsequently earned the team a run to the NCAA tournament in its first year of eligibility after reclassifying to Division I.
NKU became the seventh team ever and only second since 1970 to reach the NCAA tourney in its first eligible season.
The exposure that NKU has received during the past season reflects Brannen’s work, according to Interim President Gerry St. Amad.
“John’s leadership with his student-athletes, his demeanor on the court and the way he interacted with the national sports media over the past season highlighted the kind of leader he is,” St. Amad said in the news release. “It’s exciting to know that he will continue to guide our student-athletes and be a bright spot for our university and the Northern Kentucky region.”
For Brannen, it is an honor to be the head coach, and he is thankful to both Bothof and St.Amad for their vision and belief in the men’s basketball program.
“It has been our goal from day one to build a championship-caliber program compromised of first-class people on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Brannen said. “My family and I look forward to continuing that process in our hometown.”