Another Kennedy at Picayune?

Published 6:55 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Picayune Memorial High School could have a new head boys basketball coach in place by tonight.

Then again, maybe not.

Jason Kennedy, currently the head ninth grade coach at Biloxi High, has been offered the job recently vacated by Daniel Kennedy, according to Superintendent Dean Shaw and athletics coordinator Dodd Lee.

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Kennedy has accepted the job, and the Maroon Tide administration would like to recommended the potential new head coach to the school board tonight.

However, Kennedy had already signed a contract with the Biloxi School System before the Picayune job came open, and he must be released from that before he can accept the job with the Maroon Tide.

And, as of late Monday night, that hadn’t happened.

“We are waiting to hear from the superintendent down there,” Shaw, who was the longtime successful head coach of he Maroon Tide before moving up two years ago, said.

Jason Kennedy has been a head coach on the prep level at smaller schools at Bogue Chitto and Riley, and has also been an assistant head coach at Southwest Community College before moving to Biloxi two years ago.

He could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Jason Kennedy’s wife, Lacey, was the head girls’ basketball coach at the new St. Patrick’s High School on the coast last year but left her post last month.

Kim Grieves, who was an assistant coach at Hancock High the last six seasons, has taken over as head coach of the Lady Fighting Irish.

It is expected that if Jason Kennedy takes over as head coach of the Maroon Tide, that his wife, who ironically enough has the same name as Daniel Kennedy’s wife, would also land a coaching job somewhere in the Picayune School System.

Daniel Kennedy, a former Maroon Tide standout, took over from his mentor Shaw two seasons ago and went on to compile an overall record of 63-11. He resigned a little over two weeks ago to take the head coaching job at Albany, La., High School.

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. The Tide, though lost the top six players from that squad and returns almost no one with any varsity experience.

If Jason Kennedy isn’t released from his contract in Biloxi, “It will be a setback for us, and we’ll just have to move on,” Shaw added. “We wanted someone in place as soon as possible.”