Bearcats Hire John Brannen

All of the Tiger Woods news can take the backseat to this one. With Mick Cronin departing for UCLA, Cincinnati has looked no further than a 15 minute drive down I-471  in search for a new leader.

John Brannen was the former head coach at Northern Kentucky before Sunday, when he signed with the Bearcats.

Getting to Know John Brannen

The Kentucky native has been in the coaching business for 20 years.  Starting in 1999 as an assistant at Charleston, he has coached at 6 schools prior to Cincinnati, which will become his 7th.  Brannen has been a head coach since 2015 in his 2 interim games at Alabama.


John Brannen did great things at NKU.  He took Northern Kentucky to their first ever March Madness and went dancing twice.  Winning back-to-back Horizon conference regular season championships, Brannen showed he is a winner.  One of his proudest moments, however was when he was named Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2017.

Brannen has a career record of 82-52 as a head coach, a 61% win rate.  The new Bearcat coach has made the post-season every year except in his NKU transition year in 2015.  Remove the 2015 year and Brannen’s numbers as a head coach are…

  • 3 seasons (and 2 NIT games at Alabama)
  • 73-31 (70%) record
  • 4 post-season appearances (2 NITs, 2 March Madness)
  • 2 Horizon League regular-season championships
  • 2 Horizon League tournament championships
  • 1 Horizon League Coach of the Year

What’s Next?

Brannen is just 45 years old and will look to keep the success of Bearcat Basketball for years to come.  He has shown his excitement towards becoming the head coach of this program, and wants to succeed.

It’s truly an honor to take over such a storied program at the University of Cincinnati … The Cincinnati-northern Kentucky community is special to my family and we are happy to remain at home.  I want to thank President Pinto, Mike Bohn and the search committee for this opportunity.  We are thrilled to join a world-class University and continue to build on the historic success of Bearcats basketball.

-Bearcat Head Coach John Brannen

The Bearcats have found their guy after losing out on Cronin, and this team does not expect to take a step back.  Don’t call it a rebuild, call it a replacement.

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