Section: News

Priest out as men’s basketball head coach after poor season

Priest out as men’s basketball head coach after poor season

Dan Priest | COURTESY OF KENYON ATHLETICS

After 13 seasons, Head Coach Dan Priest and the Kenyon men’s basketball team have parted ways. The move comes after the Owls went winless in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) in the 2022-23 season. Eamonn Kearney, who has been the assistant coach of the team for five years, will now serve as acting head coach. 

Priest was the head coach of the Hendrix College men’s basketball team for seven years prior to coming to Kenyon in 2010. During his time at the helm, the Owls went 96-210 overall (.314) and 54-153 in NCAC play (.261). The high-water mark for Priest’s tenure at Kenyon came in the 2012-13 season, when the team went 16-11 overall and 9-7 in conference play before bowing out in the quarterfinals of the NCAC tournament.

After a promising 5-1 start to non-conference play, the Owls sputtered down the stretch of the 2022-23 season, managing to win only two more games en route to a 7-18 (0-16 NCAC) final record. It was the first time under Priest’s leadership that the team failed to win a conference game.

In an email to the Collegian, Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Jill McCartney thanked Priest for his contributions to the program. “Coach Priest made the decision to pursue other options and we are grateful to him for his commitment to our student athletes during his time at Kenyon,” she said. “We wish him the best as he pursues his next opportunity.” Kearney, who has been with the men’s basketball team since 2018, also expressed his appreciation for Priest. “I have immense respect and gratitude for Dan Priest,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian

Reflecting earnestly on his four years playing for Priest, Sam Walch ’23 expressed admiration for Priest’s dedication during the team’s struggles. “The program experienced many difficulties both on and off the court,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I firmly believe that Coach Priest always believed in his teachings and in the program.”

The next head coach of the Owls will inherit a roster of 15 returning players and an opportunity to improve on the team’s dearth of recent conference success. “I am hopeful that the administration can find a driven coach who is willing to lead this team forward with a clear direction,” Walch said. “The young players are full of talent and potential and with the right coach can win this conference.”

2 Comments

Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at collegian@kenyon.edu.