Taylor Co. native Cunningham takes over at Troy

TROY, Ala. (AP) - Troy has hired Western Kentucky assistant Phil Cunningham as men's basketball coach.

Cunningham was introduced in a news conference Tuesday to replace Don Maestri, who retired at the Sun Belt Conference tournament after 31 seasons and 500 wins.

Cunningham spent five years as an assistant under Lefty Driesell at James Madison and Georgia State and spent 12 seasons at Mississippi State. He spent one season at Western Kentucky, which lost to No. 1 seed Kansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Cunningham was part of teams that made seven NCAA tournaments and 11 postseason appearances at Mississippi State and Western Kentucky.

Troy athletic director John Hartwell worked with Cunningham at Georgia State in 1997. Cunningham is Troy's sixth head coach.

The Campbellsville, Ky., native attended Taylor County High School and then played two collegiate seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan College before transferring to Campbellsville College to continue his playing career under his father, the legendary Lou Cunningham. Harper was an assistant coach at Kentucky Wesleyan while Cunningham played for the Panthers, and both were members of the 1987 NCAA Division II national championship team.

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