Not to be outdone by the premiere of Game of Thrones season eight, the Cincinnati Bearcats made a major plot twist of their own on Sunday as they officially named John Brannen the next head coach of the men’s basketball program.
Less than a week after Mick Cronin left UC to take the job at UCLA, Brannen has been brought in to lead a program that has succeeded at an exceptional rate for the last decade, making nine-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and winning the American Athletic Conference Tournament in back-to-back seasons. Brannen, the former head coach of Northern Kentucky, is a pretty solid fit to keep that going. He knows the area well, having coached just across the Ohio River with the Norse and he’s had his own fair share of success. He has an 81-51 all-time record as a head coach for the program, two Horizon League regular season titles and a conference crown this past season when the Norse made their second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years.
We’ll have more to analyze in the weeks and months ahead but for now, the Bearcats have quickly stabilized their coaching situation. Now we’ll see if Brannen can lead the Bearcats to the Iron Throne ... er ... American Athletic Conference title and beyond.