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Meet the new assistant basketball coaches: Bill Armstrong

 

Bill Armstrong was elevated in April from coordinator of basketball operations to assistant coach under Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy.

“I’m excited about the opportunity and very excited about the upcoming season,” Armstrong said. “I’m counting down the days.”

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Armstrong played four years with UAB, while Kennedy was then an assistant coach for the Blazers. After his playing career, which included a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009, Armstrong was a graduate assistant for his alma mater during the 2001-02 season.

From UAB, he served as an assistant coach at Chipola (Fla.) Junior College, where he helped lead the Indians to a 23-9 record and second-place conference finish, before moving back to Birmingham to take the same position at Birmingham-Southern.

In his first season at Birmingham-Southern, 2003-04, he helped lead the Panthers to a 20-7 record and a share of the Big South Conference regular-season championship. 

After his three-year stint in Birmingham, Armstrong arrived in Oxford as coordinator of basketball operations. He spent the next five seasons under Kennedy as his right-hand man. In this position, he helped lead the Rebels to two NIT Final Fours and two Southeastern Conference Western Division crowns.

Among his day-to-day responsibilities in that role with the basketball program included player development, travel arrangements, coordinating camps, scheduling and scouting. 

Having been at Ole Miss for the last five seasons, Armstrong has a familiarity and an existing relationship with the program. He has built strong relationships with the returning players and knows how Kennedy runs his team.

“I think the familiarity with the guys, being here over the last five years, I know all these guys,” Armstrong said.

The Rebels will have a tough time this season after the graduation of standout guards Chris Warren and Zach Graham. Returning guards, junior Nick Williams and sophomore Dundrecous Nelson, are going to be leaned on to replace Warren and Graham until Memphis transfer, Jelan Kendrick, is cleared to play after the fall semester is complete. “Those kids are going to be etched in everyone’s memory,” Armstrong said. “I think that (the replacing of Warren and Graham) will be done by a group of guards this year.”

Two other new assistants, Sergio Rouco and Al Pinkins, will join Armstrong and Kennedy on the bench this year.

“They’re really good guys and they have a lot of experience,” Armstrong said. “I hope I can feed off some of their experience to learn myself.”