Kevin Kennedy - 2012
The 2006 Southern Conference Coach of the Year, Kevin Kennedy enters his seventh season at the helm of Georgia Southern Eagle Soccer.
After a two years that didn't reach expectations, the 2011 Eagles performed a patented Kennedy rebound. GSU posted a 4-3 league mark in the 2011 season, leading the conference in the early weeks of the season before finishing third. GSU also earned a home match in the 2011 SoCon Tournament, hosting a postseason game for the first time since 2008.
Stellar play from Luigi Clendening paced the Georgia Southern offense which scored its highest goal total since the 2001 season. Clendening scored 13 goals ranking among the top-10 goalscorers in the nation and earning SoCon Co-Player of the Year Honors.
The 2008 season was a year to remember for Kennedy. The Eagles became just the 16th different team to defeat Clemson under the lights at historic Riggs Field. Georgia Southern shocked a crowd of almost 6,000 defeating the Tigers 2-1 in one of the biggest non-conference wins in school history.
The memories didn’t end there for the Eagles. With SoCon Tournament seeding on the line, Kennedy pulled off another shocker earning the school’s first win over UNC Greensboro en route to a second place finish in the SoCon.
In 2007, Kennedy saw his Eagles take part in a rare opportunity, performing in front of a national audience. Played at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. (Oct. 26, 2007), Fox Soccer Channel broadcast a rematch of the 2006 SoCon Tournament championship.
Hired days before the team reported for fall 2006 practice as the interim head coach, Kennedy helped turn around a 7-10-1 team that finished tied for last place in the SoCon in 2005, to a 10-6-3 record and a top-10 regional showing that ultimately peaked at No. 7 in the South region by the NSCAA/Adidas rankings.
Kennedy was soon promoted to his current permanent head coach status in December 2006 following a remarkable season that exceeded initial expectations.
The 2006 Eagles produced their best campaign since 1997 when GSU finished with a 14-4-2 record. Georgia Southern’s appearance in the SoCon Championship match versus UNC Greensboro (Nov. 5, 2006) was an accomplishment that hadn’t occurred in a decade.
The Eagles shut out eight teams during the 2006 campaign, tying the record set back in 1990, including a scoreless draw versus visiting UNC Greensboro (Sep. 20, 2006), the eventual SoCon regular season and tournament winner and No. 15 ranked team in the country.
In six years at the helm, Kennedy has seen his student-athletes excel both on and off the field, capturing conference and national recognition.
Earning all-SoCon honors were Luigi Clendening (2007), Jon Cox (2006), Brad Mitchum (2006) and Adam Webb (2006). Cox also received the program’s first SoCon “Freshman of the Year” honor (2006) and went on to be named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman Third Team and the NSCAA/adidas all-South Region Third Team. Along with Cox, Webb also earned NSCAA/adidas all-South Region accolades while claiming a spot on the College Soccer News “National Team of the Week” and garnering SoCon “Player of the Week” honors the week of Sept. 20, 2006.
Academically, Kennedy has seen several of his pupils demonstrate excellent work in the classroom. Following the 2006-07 school year, seven Eagles were represented on the SoCon Honor Roll, having earned at least a 3.0 GPA. At the end of 2007-08, the men’s soccer team had nine individuals on the Honor Roll.
In 2008-09, Mark Beville was named Student-Athlete of the Year at Georgia Southern. Kennendy’s 2008-09 squad also earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for averaging a team GPA above 3.0 for the year.
Before coming to Statesboro, Kennedy enjoyed a successful coaching career at the club and high school levels.
Prior to joining the Eagles, Kennedy spent six years serving as the Director of Coaching and Club Director of the Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club. He oversaw a coaching staff of 25 and business operations of the club, in addition to coordinating the Capital Improvement projects at the Augusta Soccer Park.
In addition to the administrative duties, he did extensive work on the coaching front. He worked as an instructor for coaching education with the Georgia Youth Soccer Association, and in 2003 hosted the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Coaching Academy. Along with his club coaching experience, Kennedy served as a staff coach for the Georgia Olympic Development Program.
From January 2002, Kennedy was the boys head coach at Aquinas High School, leading that squad to the 2005 AA/A State championship. The Augusta Chronicle 2005 ‘Boys Soccer Coach of the Year’, Kennedy coached Aquinas to three consecutive Region 7-AA/A titles (2003-05) and during those same three years received the Team Academic Award by the NSCAA.
Kennedy was an undergraduate at Augusta State, received his master’s degree from Georgia Southern, then went back to ASU to work as a men’s soccer assistant coach during the 1999 season. He was a three-year team captain during his playing days, twice was named to the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll, and in 1995 received the Tommy Werrick Scholar-Athlete Award.
During his graduate work at Georgia Southern, he received a Teaching Excellence Award in 1999. A member of the GS club team, he was named to the All-Tournament Team at the National Club Championships.
A member of the NSCAA, he owns a United States Soccer Federation ‘A’ license and received from the NSCAA an Advanced National diploma and Director of Coaching diploma.
He earned an undergraduate degree in English from Augusta State in 1995, then received a Master of Science degree in Sports Management from Georgia Southern.
Kennedy is married to the former Ale Sabio, and they are the parents of a daughter, Meghan and a son, Jackson.
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