BOSTON (CBS) — The UMass Minutemen were ready to start their next chapter with new head coach Pat Kelsey, until they were blindsided just ahead of his introductory press conference on Thursday.
They announced Kelsey as the school’s 22nd head basketball coach after he signed an agreement on Tuesday. Over the next few days, Kelsey immersed himself in the UMass culture. He did a full photo shoot with the school. He had dinner with the team and spoke glowingly of their future, together. He even reached out to former Minuteman Marcus Camby, calling him on his birthday and telling him he wanted to make him proud.
Everything looked good leading up to Thursday’s press conference to officially introduce Kelsey. Athletic director Ryan Bamford had his remarks prepared and the media was gathered to cover the event. Even the UMass band was on hand.
But just 35 minutes before that press conference, Kelsey called Bamford to let him know he had changed his mind. Citing “personal reasons,” Kelsey decided to go back to Winthrop, though it’s more likely he’ll be leaving the Eagles again in the near future for a better gig.
UMass alum Marc Betrand isn’t very pleased with Kelsey, calling him a “dirtbag” on Friday’s Zolak & Bertrand.
“What kind of person are you to go accept a job, be on campus for two days, sign your contract, go through all the pomp and circumstance and meet the team, tell them you love them. You reach out to former famous players and alums. And on top of that, you start tweeting about how proud you are, and then bail. Not only are you a fraud, you’re not a person of your word,” Beetle said of Kelsey. “What a fraud. What a loser this guy is.”
UMass is in a bad situation on a lot of fronts, with a $1 million buyout clause in Kelsey’s contract he would have had to pay if he took another job in his first two years in Amherst. Bamford said the school is exploring what will happen with that buyout clause, but they expect to get something back.
“We got left at the altar yesterday,” Bertrand said of UMass. “The guy is completely full of crap. You know what the ‘personal reason’ is? He found a better job somewhere else. … I can’t wait until he burns [Winthrop] in about three days.”
Bertrand was adamant that UMass better recoup the $1 million buyout from Kelsey’s deal. Listen to his full Kelsey rant below: