Coach Kenna Eager to Take Evergreen Basketball to the Next Level

August 3, 2005

Tom Kenna from UCSD named Head Men's Basketball Coach at The Evergreen State College

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Tom Kenna has accepted the position of head men's basketball coach and recreation manager at The Evergreen State College. Kenna most recently served as associate head coach at the University of California San Diego, an NCAA Division II school. Kenna's previous coaching posts include stints at Long Beach State University in Long Beach, Calif., where he served as assistant coach, and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., where he served as interim head men's coach from 2002 to 2003 and as lead assistant coach from 1999-2002. As head coach, Kenna led his Spring Hill team to the "Final Four" of its conference tournament. His team ranked as high as sixth in the nation and held the distinction of being the number one defensive team in the nation.

Coach Kenna's newly appointed position also includes duties as recreational manager for Evergreen's College Recreation Center, where he will develop, implement and oversee recreational programs. In addition to coaching, he served Spring Hill College as the coordinator for recreation and intramurals. Kenna holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in sports administration and a Bachelor of Business in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami.

"Both education and athletics are important to me, so I feel fortunate to be able to coach at an educational institution that fosters and embraces individual thinking and ideas," said Kenna. "Evergreen basketball fans can expect to see a strong defense and successful execution of our offense. I know Evergreen has built a solid program and has enjoyed success in the conference. I want to build on that success and take it to the next level while providing an exciting brand of play."

Kenna said he hopes his contribution to the college will also benefit the health of the community. "I want to encourage and promote an active lifestyle and get people out here to campus, whether that's as a fan of the basketball team or as a participant in a rec activity or fitness program."

"Tom is the right coach for Evergreen at this moment and I think Evergreen is the right job for Tom at this point in his career," said Evergreen Athletic Director Dave Weber. "It was obvious to us that he's really ready to step up and be a head coach full time. He's had a small amount of head coaching experience and has also worked in some great programs as an assistant."

Weber said he and members of the men's team were very impressed with the hour Kenna spent working on the court with the players as part of the interview process.

"He connected well and wasn't afraid to step in and make corrections, even though he knew the players were providing feedback on his performance," said Weber. "We think Coach Kenna will pick up the program and push it forward with little delay. In our conference, you can't afford a lot of rebuilding years because nobody else is going to slow down and wait for you." In the 2005 season, Evergreen, an NAIA Division II college, finished fifth in the Cascade Conference that sent four of its 32 teams to nationals. "Evergreen's on the cusp of being one of those top teams and we think Tom can help get us to that point," said Weber.

Kenna replaces Evergreen's first ever coach, John Barbee, who had served the basketball program since its inception eight years ago.