John Brannen (basketball)

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John Brannen
Current position
TitleHead coach
ConferenceThe American
Biographical details
Born (1974-01-18) January 18, 1974 (age 45)
Alexandria, Kentucky
Playing career
1992–1994Morehead State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1999–2000Charleston (assistant)
2000–2003Eastern Kentucky (assistant)
2003–2006St. Bonaventure (assistant)
2006–2009VCU (assistant)
2009–2013Alabama (assistant)
2013–2015Alabama (assoc. HC)
2015Alabama (interim HC)
2015–2019Northern Kentucky
Head coaching record
Overall82–52 (.612)
Tournaments0–2 (NCAA)
1–2 (NIT)
Accomplishments and honors
2 Horizon League Tournament (2017, 2019)
2 Horizon League regular season (2018, 2019)
Horizon League Coach of the Year (2017)

John Brannen (born January 18, 1974) is an American basketball coach and the current men's basketball coach of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Brannen previously spent four seasons as the head coach for the Northern Kentucky University Norse. Before that he spent nine seasons as an assistant coach to Anthony Grant at both VCU and Alabama. For the Tide's two games in the 2015 National Invitation Tournament, Brannen served as interim head coach. Brannen is a Kentucky native and was named the head coach of NKU, the fifth in program history, on April 7, 2015.[1][2]

Coaching career[edit]

Brannen held assistant coaching positions at Charleston, Eastern Kentucky and St. Bonaventure before being hired by former Marshall assistant Anthony Grant, who had just been named head coach at VCU. Brannen spent three seasons at VCU before following Grant to Alabama, where he was an assistant for six seasons (the last two as associate head coach). When Grant was fired following the Tide's 2015 SEC Tournament loss, Brannen was named interim head coach for the team's NIT appearance.[3][4] The Tide were knocked out of the tournament by Miami[5] in the second round following a first round home win over Illinois.[6]

In 2017, Brannen led the Norse to the Horizon League championship and the NCAA tournament in the school's first season of full Division I eligibility.[7] First team since 1970 to do so. Brannen was also named 2016-2017 Coach of the Year in the Horizon League.

On April 14, 2019, Brannen was named the new head coach of Cincinnati.

Playing career[edit]

Brannen played at Newport Central Catholic High School in Newport, Kentucky, followed by a college career at Morehead State before transferring to Marshall for his final two seasons. As a senior, Brannen led the Southern Conference in scoring and was named the league tournament MVP. Brannen played two seasons of professional basketball in Belgium's First Division before returning to the States to begin his coaching career.

Personal life[edit]

Brannen is married to the former Lisa Elswick, with whom he has twin daughters. He is originally from Alexandria, Kentucky. He received his bachelor's degree in business management from Marshall University in 1997 and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist as a college senior.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (2015)
2014–15 Alabama 1–1 0–0 NIT Second Round
Alabama: 1–1 (.500)
Northern Kentucky Norse (Horizon League) (2015–2019)
2015–16 Northern Kentucky 9–21 5–13 8th
2016–17 Northern Kentucky 24–11 12–6 T–3rd NCAA Division I Round of 64
2017–18 Northern Kentucky 22–10 15–3 1st NIT First Round
2018–19 Northern Kentucky 26–9 13–5 T–1st NCAA Division I Round of 64
Northern Kentucky: 81–51 (.614) 45–27 (.625)
Cincinnati Bearcats (American Athletic Conference) (2019–present)
2019–20 Cincinnati 0–0 0–0
Cincinnati: 0–0 (–) 0–0 (–)
Total: 82–52 (.612)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "John Brannen welcomed as men's basketball head coach". Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  2. ^ "Ex-Alabama assistant John Brannen named head coach at Atlantic Sun Conference school". Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  3. ^ "Alabama assistant John Brannen named interim head coach". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  4. ^ "Alabama assistant John Brannen named interim head coach". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  5. ^ "Alabama vs. Miami - Game Recap - March 21, 2015 - ESPN". Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  6. ^ "Alabama goes off on Illinois, crushing Illini in NIT 48 hours after Anthony Grant fired". Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  7. ^ "John Brannen Bio". Retrieved 2017-05-02.

External links[edit]