Nearly three months into his hire as Murray State’s women’s basketball coach, Rennie Nickell has another title — athletic director.


Nearly three months into his hire as Murray State’s women’s basketball coach, Rennie Nickell has another title — athletic director.


The school announced Friday that Nickell would take over the athletic department for Mike McBrayer, who confirmed to the The Ardmoreite late Thursday night his resignation. McBrayer, who also was the head baseball coach, has been succeeded by assistant coach Bryan Keith, school spokeswoman Donna Graves said Friday.


The announcement came sooner than expected — McBrayer also said late Thursday night a formal announcement of his resignation would be made sometime this week.


Neither McBrayer, Nickell nor Graves would comment on the personnel changes. Keith could not be reached for comment.


Graves said the school could not comment because it was a personnel matter. Aside from the matter, Nickell said he did not at the time want to discuss any goals he has with the department.


The office of Murray State President Dr. Noble Jobe III redirected requests for comment on the promotions to Graves. Lone Grove baseball coach Jeremy Turner, who played for McBrayer from 1998-99, told The Ardmoreite in a story that was published Friday that McBrayer cited “unhappiness with the Murray State administration” as reason for his stepping down.


Nickell was hired as women’s coach Aug. 1 after serving as an assistant at Redlands Community College. He also was a volunteer assistant at St. Gregory’s.


“I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to lead this fine group of students during this coming season,” Nickell said in a statement announcing his promotion to AD. “I cannot wait for the Aggie fans to see the changes we have made with our opener against Grayson Nov. 1 (in Tishomingo).”
Keith, who married his wife Laura on the Aggies’ home field on Valentine’s Day, played for Murray State through the 2006 NJCAA Region II championship as a transfer from Carl Albert State. The former first baseman then graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State and will receive a master’s degree from East Central.


Statistical information on McBrayer’s tenure at Murray State was unavailable.

I.C. Murrell,
(580) 221-6527
ic.murrell@ardmoreite.com