UT Tyler Hires New Men's Basketball Coach

Courtesy: UT Tyler Sports Information
Courtesy: UT Tyler Sports Information

Kenny Bizot has been named the men's basketball coach at The University of Texas at Tyler, announced Dr. Howard Patterson, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of athletics.

Bizot, a New Orleans native, assumes the position of head coach after distinguishing himself in his short coaching career. He spent last year as the head coach at Jackson Preparatory School in Jackson, Miss., widely recognized as one of the top private schools in the South.

"Coach Bizot is the right man at the right time, bringing a wealth of recruiting, coaching and leadership experience at the NCAA Division III level to UT Tyler at a pivotal point in our brief athletics history," said Patterson. "You know you're on to something when an entire department's coaching staff is so excited about Kenny being the new men's basketball coach."

Continued Patterson, "NCAA Division III experience played a central theme in this hiring. Out of almost 100 applicants, there were about a dozen Division I assistant coaches from programs with various levels of success and many accomplished high school coaches, but in the end the screening committee hung their hats on Division III experience as the top criteria in making this selection. Of the three finalists we brought in for on-campus interviews, Kenny stood out as the candidate with the most passion for recruiting well-rounded student-athletes able to compete in the American Southwest Conference and, eventually, nationally."

Prior to his year at Jackson Prep, Bizot was the assistant coach at fellow ASC member Mississippi College. During his four-year stint at MC, Bizot served as the recruiting coordinator for the Choctaws. With Bizot's help, Mississippi College appeared in the ASC championship game four times and won two conference championships. MC made three NCAA tournament appearances and advanced to the "Sweet 16" round twice. The Choctaws were ranked as high as #2 in the nation during Bizot's time at MC.

"My family and I are very excited about this opportunity and I am looking forward to getting started at UT Tyler and building a program that the University and the community will be proud of," said Bizot. "I would like thank Dr. Patterson, Dr. Lunsford and Dr. Mabry for giving me this opportunity."

Bizot's recruiting classes at MC have posted a five-year record of 119-35, including this year's team which is playing in MC's third-straight appearance in the "Sweet 16" round this weekend in Virginia Beach, Va.

Before coming to Mississippi College, Bizot served as head coach at Hillcrest Christian School from 1998-2002 where he led the team to consecutive state championships and was named the Mississippi Private School Association Coach of the Year twice. Bizot led the Cougars to an overall 128-55 record. Over the course of those four seasons, Hillcrest won the MPSA Overall championship twice. Bizot was also named the Clarion Ledger Metro Coach of the Year for the 1999-2000 season that resulted in the first MPSA Overall Championship title.

In 1995-1997, Bizot was head coach at Porter's Chapel for two seasons and served as graduate assistant to head coach Mike Jones at Mississippi College in 1994-95.

Bizot spent four seasons at Mississippi College as a player from 1990-1994. As a player at MC, Bizot won the team Mr. Hustle in each of his four seasons of play. During his senior season, he started in 25 of the 27 games he played. Bizot averaged five points and 3.9 rebounds during that season. He also led the team with 55 steals and finished second on the team with 79 assists.

Bizot replaces Matt Wallis who resigned following the conclusion of the 2006-2007 season. Bizot will assume his duties immediately and work closely with assistant coach Larry Jones who has managed the recruiting process in the interim.

Coach Bizot and his wife Jeni have a five year-old son, Kenner.

UT Tyler Sports Information Release