Kevin Loughery, the volatile coach of the New Jersey Nets for eight years, resigned today. He will be replaced by assistant Bob MacKinnon.

Loughery's resignation was described as "somewhat suprising" by Ted Pase, team public relations director.

"He submitted his resignation in a telephone call to team owner Joseph Taub, who is in Puerto Rico," Pase said. "The resignation is effective immediately . . . An assistant coach will be named at a later date."

Loughery, 40, said he made his decision to leave the team over the weekend, after a four-hour meeting with Taub last Friday.

"I had the weekend to think about the tremendous difference of philosophy we have about the operation of the team," he said, refusing to give any specific examples of the dispute.

Loughery said he had "no idea" what he'll do now. "I only made my decision a little while ago."

Pase said he didn't believe Loughery's resignation had anything to do with the performance of the team, which is last in the Atlantic Division of the National Basketball Association with a record of 12-23.

Loughery, known for his quick temper with referes, led the league in technical fouls last season.

Loughery coached the Nets to three American Basketball Association championships when the Nets played at the Long Island Coliseum. Since joining the NBA, his teams have made the playoffs once in four years.

He started his NBA playing career with the Detroit Pistons and was with the then-Baltimore Bullets for more than seven years. He averaged 15.3 points a game as a pro.

MacKinnon joined the Nets after one season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics.