Keith 'Mister' Jennings enters his second season as assistant men's basketball coach and first as head JV coach at Lees-McRae.
“We continue to make great strides in turning around our men’s basketball program and today is no different. To be able to hire Keith and watch his relationship with Coach Steve Hardin grow, will be fun for all,” praised Vice President Director of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail. “I am especially looking forward to the growth and development of our young men on our team as I see their progression reaching new heights.”
Jennings is no stranger to success while playing in the National Basketball Association with the Golden State Warriors (1992-95) and the Denver Nuggets (1996-97). During his time at Golden State, Jennings was an assist machine while dishing out 614 while grabbing 248 rebounds. He shot 85.2% from the charity stripe and appeared in 164 games in three seasons. During the 1994-95 season, Jennings knocked down 75 three-pointers while amassing 589 points and turning in 1722 minutes.
He earned All-Star accolades on four occasions while playing European Professional Basketball. He led Brandt Hagen (Germany) to a playoff appearance in 1991 before garnering the three-point champion award and a second round playoff appearance with Estudiantes (Spain) during the 1995-96 season.
In 1999, Jennings was tabbed Player of the Year while playing for Le Man (France) and took his squad to the second round of the playoffs.
Prior to playing professionally, Jennings wrote his name in the record books at East Tennessee State University. He led the Buccaneers to three consecutive Southern Conference championships (1989-91), while earning the Southern Conference Player of the Year and Southern Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player award as a senior (1991). In 1991, he earned Second-Team All-American merits by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the Associated Press.
Jennings ranks fourth all-time in ETSU program scoring (1,988 points) and holds multiple records, including career totals for assists (983) and steals (334), single season records for assists per game (9.1) and steals per game (3.4), and single game marks for assists (19) and free throws made (18). Jennings was lights out from beyond the arc, owning a career 3-point field goal percentage of 49.3. His mark of 59 percent from 3-point-range led the country in 1991.
"Coach Jennings is a close and loyal friend and I am extremely excited to have him. We have talked about building a program together for some time and now we have the opportunity! Keith brings a wealth of basketball experience: his playing resume speaks for itself and is very knowledgeable about the game,” said Hardin. “'Mister' is a valuable asset in all phases and embodies our FIRE program. I am extremely blessed to add Coach Jennings to the staff."
Following his playing career, Jennings has stayed close to home while being the head coach for the boy’s varsity team at Highland School in Warrenton, Va. (2004-07) and the assistant coach at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn. (2008-09). Jennings returned to ETSU in 2008 as a graduate assistant coach.
Jennings wore multiple hats at Bluefield College (2009-14) in Bluefield, Va. while he was the head coach for the men’s JV team and assistant coach to the varsity squad. The Rams won the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship in 2009-10.