Ole Miss head basketball coach Kermit Davis tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, and regular team protocols — as the result of his test — became public on Tuesday.
With basketball season less than two weeks away from tip-off, it appears that unless Davis’s results are deemed to be a false positive, he will not be on the sideline come the Rebels opening games starting Nov 25.
“The team is going through contact tracing, and those found to be a close contact will go into quarantine per medical guidelines,” the program said in a tweet on Tuesday. “If Tuesday’s test also comes back positive, Coach Davis will remain in isolation at his home and miss the first two games of the season.”
Davis released a statement on Wednesday morning that said his second COVID-19 test came back positive as well and he is now experiencing mild symptoms. He will continue watching team practices on Zoom and organizing the day to day operations of the program.
Taking head coaching responsibilities over in the meantime will be Ronnie Hamilton, the third-year assistant coach and former defensive back for Duke’s football team. Although Hamilton is only in his third season at Ole Miss, this is his sixth with Kermit Davis, as he served on Davis’s staff at Middle Tennessee for four years.
Although Hamilton has experience at many programs across the country, this will be his first stint as a head coach. He will also likely be assisted by Win Case, who similarly spent 10 years under Davis’s wing at Middle Tennessee, and before that, he had served as a head coach.
It is hard to say what impact this will have, but this could be a huge blow if multiple players are isolated because of COVID-19 positive tests, or just contract tracing alone.
The Rebels are still set for tip-off at home for the Justin Reed Ole Miss Classic on Nov. 25-27.