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Wells: I’m staying

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Kelly Wells will remain the basketball coach at the University of Pikeville.

On Tuesday morning, Wells withdrew his name from consideration for the vacant position at Morehead State University. He had been a candidate for the job since former teammate Donnie Tyndall left to take the head coaching job at Southern Mississippi.

“When you pray for guidance, the right doors open and the wrong ones close,” said Wells. “I realize this is where our family needs to be.”

Wells has accumulated a record of 122-68 in six years at the helm of the Bears. That stretch includes four consecutive 20-win seasons, which is the longest in school history, and culminated in the school’s first NAIA national championship last March.

Following the title, Wells was named the Rawlings Coach of the Year by the NAIA.

It was the second national coach of the year honor for Wells, who received one honor after leading Mason County to the Kentucky state championship in 2003 when a squad led by former Tennessee standout Chris Lofton finished with a record of 35-2.

The Bears are coming off a 17-12 record last season, and the prospects of some key returnees and a stellar recruiting class has Wells looking forward to the upcoming campaign.

“We have some very good talent returning and are very excited about the recruiting class we have put together,” he said. “Our staff has worked very hard to put us in a position to return to the top of our league and national rankings.

“We feel great about what has gone on in our time here at Pikeville,” he continued. “The administration, faculty and staff on our campus has been a tremendous source of support and inspiration, and the East Kentucky Expo Center is second to none when it comes to small-college facilities.

“In the end, Shawne and I have a deep love of our school and our community. This is a great place to live and the right place for us to raise Kaylee and Mason. We’re thrilled to be a part of Pikeville and that Pikeville has accepted us so willingly.

“We are UPIKE, and carry that banner proudly.”

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