Preston will return to KSU at season’s end

Lewis Preston will return as Kennesaw State’s men’s basketball coach at the end of the season, athletic director Vaughn Williams announced Tuesday.

Preston took a leave of absence for personal and medical reasons Jan. 2. Jimmy Lallathin will continue as interim head coach until Preston returns.

“I feel that it is in the best interest of Kennesaw State men’s basketball that Lewis returns to coaching the team at the conclusion of this season,” Williams said in a statement posted on the school’s website. “I have the utmost confidence in this program, and that the current student-athletes, assistant coaches and coach Preston will take this program in the right direction.”

Preston, formerly an assistant at Penn State, was Williams’ first hire. Preston took over a program in 2011 that faced NCAA penalties related to academic issues that occurred under the previous coaching staff.

The Owls were 6-55 in Preston’s first two seasons and 3-12 this season before his leave of absence was announced. Preston’s contract runs through the 2015-16 season.

Preston hasn’t returned several text messages.

The Owls are 1-6 under Lallathin. They will play at South Carolina-Upstate on Thursday.