A new head coach will roam the sidelines for the men’s lacrosse program at Pope John Paul II.
Pat Kennedy takes over for the retired Bob Page, who steps down after 13 years as head coach.
“Coach Kennedy brings a wealth of lacrosse experience from various levels,” Athletics Director John Dempsey wrote. “He has been successful wherever he coached, and he understands what it takes to play at the next level both as a player and coach.
“Pope John Paul II High School is grateful to coach Bob Page for all he has done with our lacrosse program for the past thirteen years,” Dempsey continued. “He started this program from the ground up and has left us in great shape to continue its growth.”
Page won two state championships as head coach of the men’s program, once in 2009 and the other in 2011, and reached the quarterfinal round this past year.”
Page will stay on as an Economics teacher and run an entrepreneurial program at the school and will assist the lacrosse program when he can.
Coach Kennedy comes to JPII from Culver Academy in Culver, Indiana, where he served as assistant coach to one of the top-ranked programs in the nation. He was also part of perennial state powerhouse, Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati, a program his family started as a high school player before earning a spot on the Syracuse University lacrosse team At Syracuse, Kennedy won the National Championship in 2000.
“Family comes first for me, and that is what you get here at JPII; a great family atmosphere,” Kennedy said of what he was looking for in a program. “I think the opportunity to coach in a growing area like middle Tennessee was something like as well. I think this area could be the next hotbed for the sport of lacrosse.”
Thankfully for Kennedy, he does not have to start from scratch. Kennedy has the luxury of building off of what coach Bob Page started, and that is something that will serve his team, significantly moving forward.
“Anytime there is a new coach at a program, there will be a learning curve for both the athletes and the coach,” he said. “That said, I have been pleased with how the young men here have adapted to the new things we have brought to the program.”
Kennedy was set to begin his first season as head coach this spring, but then with the spread of the coronavirus taking over and shutting down sports and schools across the state, that plan is now in limbo.
“I am hoping things will turn around soon so that we can resume our schedules,” he added. “I have been pleased with the seniors, and I want to see things turn around for them before the year is up. They deserve that.”
2020 will be Kennedy’s 13th season as head coach and 17th season as a lacrosse coach. He and his wife and three children have spent time in Texas and Indiana before settling in Sumner County.
“This has been an excellent move for our family so far, and we could not be happier,” he added. “We did not plan our lives to move in such a short time, but I feel like we have found our home right now. Everyone is happy.”