Kennedy leaves Picayune hoops

Published 1:04 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Daniel Kennedy, who guided Picayune to the Class 4A state championship basketball game this past season, has left the Maroon Tide program.

Kennedy turned his resignation in on Friday, according to Picayune Athletics Coordinator Dodd Lee, and has accepted the head coaching job at Albany, La., High School.

“It was a hard decision to make,” Kennedy, a Picayune Memorial High alum, said. “It was tough for me to leave because that was really my dream job. It’s not the best move for me profesionally maybe but it is the best move for my family at this point.”

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Kennedy’s wife Lacey, recenty got a job in Baton Rouge and with his move to Livingston Parrish, Kennedy indicated it would double the income for his family.

“It happened real quick, and it wasn’t planned but things just fell into place,” Kennedy said. “It was just a good financial situation for us and we couldn’t turn it down.

“But I would have never left Picayune for another job in Mississippi. It is one of the premiere basketball jobs in the state and I want to thank all of the fans, the administration and the community for their support. We couldn’t have asked for anything more and we will miss it all.”

Lee said that the school would begin advertising the job today and that interviews could begin soon.

“We’ve already had some people contact us about it,” Lee added. “We want what’s best for coach Kennedy and his family and we wish him the best. We will move to fill the opening as quickly as possible.”

Kennedy, a former Maroon Tide standout, took over from his mentor Dean Shaw two seasons ago and went on to compile a an overall record of 63-11.

Both of his teams fell to eventual state champions in the overall state tournament in Jackson.

Last season, the Maroon Tide went 33-5 and lost in overtime to New Hope in the state finals, coming up just seconds short of the school’s first ever state title on the hardwood after Picayune led the Trojans with just over a minute to play in regulation. “That was a very special group of kids to me and always will be,” Kennedy added. “That made it even more of a difficult decision to leave.”