When the Evans Knights kick off the start of the 2006-07 sports year with football, volleyball, softball and cross-country next fall, the athletic program will be under new leadership.
Athletic Director Gail Connor announced her decision to retire this year. Evans High Principal Don Brigdon confirmed last week the promotion of boys basketball coach Kevin Kenny to athletic director beginning this summer.
"It was always more or less going to be an internal thing," Brigdon said. "I talked to those that were interested. We have a lot of talent to pull from."
Kenny, who has been a teacher and coach at Evans since 1997, took the boys basketball team to the Region 2-AAAA Tournament Championship in February and also reached the second round of the Class AAAA State Tournament.
Brigdon said the decision to name Kenny as athletic director came because of his passion for all Evans sports.
"Coach Kenny has always been interested in all our sports and our kids," Bridgon said. "He's always been there, and that's real important for an athletic director."
Kenny came to Evans after four years of coaching boys varsity basketball at Hephzibah. He also served as junior varsity boys basketball coach at Butler after graduating from Hephzibah in 1979.
With almost 10 years of coaching experience at Evans, which includes short stints as a football and boys soccer coach, Kenny said he's prepared to oversee all Evans sports.
"I want all programs to be as successful as they can be," Kenny said. "I'm prepared to take us to the next level. That's my main objective."
Evans also will welcome a new face to the football coaching staff next fall. Current Greenbrier athletic director Mickey Derrick announced his retirement late last year. Evans football coach Marty Jackson confirmed last week that Derrick will serve as offensive line coach for the Knights in a part-time coaching and teaching role this fall.
"We got rid of some selfishness, and we're going to have a good staff next year. I'm excited about it," Jackson said.
Jackson, Derrick and the rest of the Evans coaching staff will look to balance a Knight football team that reached the state playoffs two years ago but won only one game in the 2005 season.
Derrick's hiring marks a return to Evans, where he served as assistant football coach and history teacher from 1977-1996.
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