LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - McNeese announced Portland State’s Lynn Kennedy as its next women’s basketball head coach Tuesday afternoon.
Kennedy had been head coach of the Portland State women’s program since 2015. He led the Vikings to a Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019.
“This wasn’t an easy decision because we had built something great at Portland State. But the challenge and opportunity here at McNeese was calling my name,” admitted Kennedy. “From the first phone call, I had a sense of being pulled by the blue and gold.”
Kennedy was confident during his introductory press conference.
“I take over programs that are at the bottom of conferences and build them into championship teams. I’m excited about that opportunity here, and to bring a championship back to this passionate fan base,” said Kennedy. “We will be Southland Conference champions and we will get back to the NCAA Tournament.”
Kennedy has 20 years of coaching experience at the college level. Prior to Portland State, he was head coach at Southern Oregon University for 10 seasons while spending four years (2002-05) as the head coach at New Mexico Highlands University.
Kennedy had previous Division I coaching experience in the Big Sky Conference as well. He was an assistant coach at Eastern Washington (1999-2001) and Idaho State (2001-02). Kennedy was named the interim head coach at Idaho State for the final seven games of that season.
Kennedy aims to bring a fast-paced and disciplined style of basketball to the McNeese program.
“Everyone says they are going to play fast but we do,” he said. “It’s about fast execution. It’s going to be disciplined. It’s going to be deliberate.”
This marks Athletics Director Heath Schroyer’s first hire outside the McNeese program since taking over as head of the athletics program and believes Kennedy is the perfect fit.
“I just wanted the best coach,” Shroyer said. “I wanted a ball coach. I wanted someone that has coached ball and understands basketball. That is what our young ladies deserve and I think that is what they really wanted.”