Lady Tide gets new head coach

Published 3:53 am Sunday, May 31, 2009

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

The second time was the charm for Picayune in its pursuit of a new head basketball coach.

It’s just that this time round, that coach will be joining the Picayune program in a different capacity.

Jason Kennedy is coming from the Biloxi High program to take over as the Lady Tide head coach. He has been an assistant for the Biloxi boys program the past few years.

Kennedy was offered and accepted the job as the head coach of the Maroon Tide boys team last year, but the Biloxi School Board wouldn’t let him out of his contract.

That job eventually went to Thomas Taylor, and now Kennedy will replace Kristi Mitchell who had led the Lady Tide for the past three seasons.

“We are glad he will finally be able to join us,” Picayune athletics coordinator Dodd Lee said. “We tried to get him last year and things didn’t work out. Both myself and Dean Shaw (Current superintendent and former head boys basketball coach) have heard good things about him. We think both he and his wife will be assets to our program.”

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 three years ago.

He will be coming to Picayune with a state championship ring after Biloxi won the Class 5A state title last season.

Jason Kennedy’s wife, Lacey, was the head girls’ basketball coach at the new St. Patrick’s High School on the coast two years ago.

She will also be joining the Lady Tide program as an assistant coach to her husband and as the head coach of the girls junior high program.

She is the all-time basketball leading scorer at Mississippi College.

Mitchell stepped down after this past season concluded to concentrate on her successful softball programs at Picayune. For three seasons, she was not only the head coach for slow and fast pitch softball but for the girls basketball team as well.

Jason Kennedy will be looking to guide the Lady Tide back to the state playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Picayune is moving up to Class 5A this season.