Abdur-Rahim will replace Brian Gregory, who was fired this month after six seasons. The Bulls haven't made the NCAA tournament since 2012 and have yet to finish .500 in league play since moving to the American in 2013.
"Everything that we were looking for in a leader for our men's basketball program, we found in Amir," Kelly said. "He is a man of high character who is a proven recruiter, program-builder, and winner that creates unparalleled student-athlete experiences. In our conversations, it became clear that he has a vision for USF Basketball and his enthusiasm and tenacity will rally Bulls Nation around our men's basketball program."
Amir-Rahim led the Owls to one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball since taking over in 2019. They won just one game in his first season and have steadily improved each season en route to winning both the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season and tournament titles this season.
Not only was it the Owls' first NCAA tournament appearance since moving to Division I in 2005, it was the program's first season above .500 in Division I.
Kennesaw State finished 26-9 overall and 15-3 in conference play, beating perennial contender Liberty in the ASun title game.
The Owls then led 3-seed Xavier by 13 points in the second half of their first-round NCAA tournament game before the Musketeers came back for a five-point win.
Abdur-Rahim, the brother of former NBA veteran and current G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim, was a longtime college assistant before taking over at Kennesaw State in 2019. The Atlanta native spent time on staffs at Murray State, Charleston, Texas A&M and Georgia.