CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati native Pat Kelsey punched his first ticket to the NCAA tournament as a head coach on Sunday as his Winthrop Eagles beat Campbell 76-59 in the Big South Championship game.
Kelsey, who played high school basketball at Elder and college basketball at Xavier, has been the head coach at Winthrop since 2012, but had never led the Eagles to the big dance until now.
Kelsey climbed the coaching tree with stops along the way as an assistant at Wake Forest and Xavier. He was an assistant under the late Skip Prosser at Wake Forest and Skip's son Mark is now on Kelsey's staff at Winthrop as an assistant.
"I'm numb right now," said Kelsey after the win on ESPN. "I know the redhead is up in heaven looking down on us right now, Skip Prosser. He always said enjoy the wins, whether it's a non-division one game in November or one like this, and I can promise you, we're going to celebrate this one."
It's the first time Winthrop has made the NCAA tournament since 2010.