Famed Coach Pat Kennedy Tabbed to Lead Pace Men’s Basketball Program
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y.- Pace University Director of Athletics Mark Brown has announced that former Florida State University and Iona College Head Coach Pat Kennedy will join the Pace Athletics Department as the Head Coach for the Men's Basketball program. Kennedy returns home to Westchester County where he started as an assistant coach with the Gaels under legendary coach Jim Valvano and has deep roots in the New York City Metropolitan region.
Kennedy comes to Pace after 31 consecutive years as a Division I Head Coach with stops at Iona College, Florida State University, DePaul University, University of Montana and Towson University. He has accumulated 487 wins during his 31-year career with eight NCAA Tournament appearances.
"During my time at Iona and throughout my coaching career, Pace University has always been admired as an outstanding academic institution producing quality graduates," said Kennedy. "The backdrop of the greatest city in the world and a highly competitive conference make Pace a special place for future student athletes. Director Brown's vision of academic and athletic excellence can take Pace to the top of Division II athletics and I am very excited about leading the men's basketball program in that quest."
Kennedy returns to Westchester County after he began his coaching career with the Gaels in 1978 as an assistant under legendary coach Jim Valvano. He was promoted to head coach at Iona in 1980 and he guided the Gaels to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Division I Tournament in 1984 and 1985. He posted four 20-win seasons in six years and earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Coach of the Year honors in 1982. He finished his career at Iona with 124 wins, a .674 winning percentage, and won three MAAC Championships.
Kennedy continued to have success as he moved to Florida State University in 1986 as he led the Seminoles to back-to-back 19-win seasons in his first two years at the helm and an NCAA Tournament appearance in year two. He went on to post five 20-win seasons in his 11 years with his best season coming in 1992-93 as the Seminoles finished with a 25-11 record. The 1992-93 team advanced to the Elite 8 in 1992-93 as the #3 seed in the Southeast Region. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 1992 following a 21-10 season as his team advanced to the Sweet 16. Kennedy was a two-time National Association of Basketball Coaches District Coach of the Year in 1992 and in 1993. In total, he guided Florida State to five NCAA Tournaments and finished with 202 wins at Florida State. Most recently, Kennedy was the head coach at Towson University in Baltimore.
"To attract a coach with the resume and credentials of a Pat Kennedy is a slam dunk for our institution," commented Director of Athletics Mark Brown. "The overwhelming interest in this position speaks volumes to the reputation of Pace and the direction we are headed. I am excited that Pat has decided to return to his Westchester roots and know that his leadership and vision is just what our program needs at this stage of our development."
Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from King's College in Pennsylvania where he played and coached for four years. Following graduation, he served as an assistant coach for the men's basketball team for two years at Lehigh University under future NBA Coach Brian Hill. Pat and his wife Jeannie are the parents of a son, Joey, who is a graduate of Northwestern where he played guard for the Wildcats and was a team captain in his senior year. Their daughter Kimberly is married to former United States Marine Zach Johnson and gave Pat and Jeannie their first grandchild, Landon Patrick Johnson. Their other daughter Kathryn is a student athlete on the track and field team at Towson University.
What others around college basketball are saying:
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University Head Coach: "Pat is a great friend and terrific coach. He is one of the best teachers in the game. Pace is fortunate to have him. He has great experience."
Bobby Cremins, Former Georgia Tech Head Coach: "It was exciting to hear that Pace hired such an experienced coach in Pat Kennedy. I loved competing against Pat in the ACC but regardless of what league I know he loves coaching the game of basketball and is looking forward to building an outstanding program at Pace. I saw Pat at the Final Four and he was very excited about the possibility of coaching at Pace."
Rich Petriccione PhD, Former Iona College Athletic Director and current Senior Vice President for Community Relations, Philanthropy, and Volunteers for the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee: "Pat Kennedy is a wonderful choice to help take Pace University's Basketball program to the next level. He is a wonderful coach, an excellent teacher, and an even better person. Pat will take full advantage of all of Pace's wonderful assets and I think it will be a terrific partnership between him and a great university."
Tom Pecora, Fordham University Head Coach: "Pat Kennedy's body of work speaks for itself. He is one of the premier college basketball coaches in America."
About Pace Athletics: Pace University is an NCAA Division II member of the Northeast-10 Conference that sponsors 12 intercollegiate sports. Pace also sponsors a Spirit Squad which includes Dance and Cheerleading teams. In the Fall 2012 semester, 61% of Pace student-athletes achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher with eight recording a perfect 4.0 GPA. Pace finished with the third highest percentage in the 16-member conference.
About Pace University: Pace University is a comprehensive, independent University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Nearly 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, School of Law and College of Health Professions. http://www.pace.edu
Pace University – Hired Pat Kennedy as Head Men's Basketball Coach