Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tennessee – Kenneth “Kenny” Sidwell, a Tennessee Tech Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players ever to wear a Golden Eagle basketball uniform, died on Christmas Day at the age of 86.
A graduate of the Institute of Technology in 1958, Sidwell played men’s basketball for the Golden Eagles for four years, setting numerous programs and Ohio Valley Conference records along the way. A native of his City of Caves, Kentucky, he attended the 1977 class and was the first in his TTU Sports Hall of Fame to not play football.
During his four playing seasons, Sidwell led purple and gold to two OVC championships, including 1956 and 1958.
A three-time team captain, Sidwell ended his career as the program’s all-time top scorer, but is still ranked 11th with nearly 1,500 points. A Golden Eagle legend, in 1955, 1957 and 1958 he won the OVC three times and was nominated for the All-Tournament in 1955.
In 1964, Sidwell returned to Cookville and served as head coach of the Golden Eagles for five seasons. Purple and Gold won the 1968 OVC Tournament title during his tenure with him going 66-57 marked. This is an event held early in the season without a bid for the NCAA Tournament.
For his on-court achievements as a player and head coach, Sidwell is one of only four Golden Eagles to retire the jersey in the rafters of the Hooper Eblen Center.
Prior to coaching at Tech, Sidwell was head coach at Belmont from 1962-64. He returned to Nashville for his second stint with the Bruins in 1972, and he served two more seasons, after which he served 15 years as the university’s Dean of Students.
In the early 1990s, Sidwell became Belmont’s first full-time director of athletics and led the school’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I in 1996. After that, he served as the school’s compliance director until he retired in 2006.
Having distinguished himself in three sports at Caberna High School in Kentucky, he excelled on the basketball court, scoring 2,300 points, earning All-State honors three times, and leading the Caberna team to two State Sweet Sixteens. I entered the tournament. He is a member of his three Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame, the Belmont His Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Kentucky High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Sidwell is survived by his wife Margaret, son Tommy (Suzanne) and two grandchildren.
A visit to Sidwell will take place on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Harpeth Hills Funeral Home in Nashville.