BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Kelly Combs has resigned as the Union College men's basketball coach, Union Director of Athletics Darin S. Wilson announced Monday.Sean Gillespie, who joined the Bulldog staff as an assistant in May, will serve as the interim head coach for the 2009-10 season.
Combs is leaving Union to pursue other interests.
"We appreciate Kelly's years of service to Union and to the Bulldog basketball program," said Wilson. "We wish him and his family well as they begin this next chapter in their lives."
Combs spent seven seasons at the helm, tying Brian Evans for the second-longest tenure in program history since World War II. Combs led the Bulldogs to a 112-116 record during his tenure. His 112 victories rank him third in program history behind Pete Moore's 253 wins and Evans' 117.
The 2005-06 campaign was Combs' best as Union posted a 22-11 overall record, marking the first 20-win season for the Bulldogs in nine years. In addition, Union advanced to the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament championship game that season.
Under Combs, eight players were named to the Appalachian Athletic Conference All-Conference Team with one First Team member. Five players earned AAC All-Freshman Team honors, including Joe Bramlage being named the league's Freshman of the Year in 2002-03. In February of 2004, Bramlage was named the NAIA Men's Basketball Division II Player of the Week.
Combs also had three players named as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Gillespie comes to Union with a wealth of experience.
"We are very fortunate to have someone with Sean's background and experience already on staff to step in and fill this void," Wilson said. "I am very confident that our men's basketball program is in very good hands under Coach Gillespie's care."
In May, Gillespie joined the Bulldog staff as an assistant.
Prior to coming to Union, Gillespie spent the past three seasons as the assistant men's basketball coach at Sterling (Kan.) College. The Warriors improved every season while Gillespie was with the program. In 2006-07, Sterling posted an 12-17 overall record before posting a 16-12 mark in 2007-08. The Warriors took a giant leap in 2008-09, going 21-10, winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship and advancing to the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament.
"I am very appreciative of this opportunity, an opportunity I did not anticipate receiving this early in my time here at Union," Gillespie said. "I appreciate Mr. (Darin) Wilson giving me this chance.
"I am excited about the players we've got coming in, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this year."
Gillespie also served as the head men's golf coach while at Sterling.
From May of 2004 to May of 2006, Gillespie coached professionally in Turkey. Before going overseas, he served as the athletic director and head boys' basketball coach at Circle Christian School in Orlando, Fla. Gillespie compiled a record of 92-24 and won the FCC State Championship in 2001. As the athletic director, he established 11 new junior varsity and varsity athletic programs.
Gillespie and his wife, Rachel, have two daughters - Mariah and Makayla.
"My family and I are very happy to be here," Gillespie added. "Since the first day we got here, Barbourville has felt like home."
The Bulldogs went 15-15 overall and 10-8 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play in 2008-09.
Union will open the 2009-10 season on Nov. 6-7 at the Indiana University Southeast Classic.