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Kennedy speaks

By mrasor Published: April 3, 2006

Women's basketball

I have been an advocate of keeping Kelly Kennedy for her last year. I thought it would be wasteful to spend the taxpayers' dollars to pay a coach who isn't coaching, especially when maximum fan support couldn't even gross enough income to make up that discrepancy.

But Mack Rhoades did it right. He recouped some of that money from next year and replaced a failing coach. That was smart.

Here is the Buchtelite's story on Kennedy's departure from Akron. Included are quotes from her and Rhoades...

Kelly Kennedy won about 15 percent of her games as women’s basketball coach at Akron.

That wasn’t acceptable for athletic director Mack Rhoades.

Rhoades asked Kennedy to resign Monday. The fourth-year coach did so, ending her stint at Akron with a 17-95 record. Her .152 winning percentage is the worst among the eight head coaches in the program’s 32-year history.

Kennedy said Rhoades was trying to make his presence felt as the new athletic director.

"Any time you get a new administrator, they all look to make their mark on things and you see it every day in college athletics,” she said. “Unfortunately, (Rhoades) didn’t know what we went through and didn’t give a full evaluation of where we were headed.”

Rhoades said he put much thought into making a coaching change.

"This decision isn’t about making a mark,” he said. “It is about what I feel is best for the university, for the program and for the student-athletes.

"It’s been a difficult four years. Kelly has worked hard. For the program to move forward, it needed a fresh beginning.”

Kennedy took over the program after the 2001-2002 season in which the team was 1-27 and lost all   16 of its Mid-American Conference games. Kennedy said that when she took over she wanted to “upgrade the talent level” but still honored the scholarships of the athletes that were already there.

“The program was not in good shape,” Kennedy said.

Recruiting has probably been Kennedy’s greatest strength at Akron. Three of last year’s five-player class led the team in scoring at least once last season.

Niki McCoy was the gem. She led the Zips in rebounding, was second in scoring  and won a spot on the All-MAC freshman team.

Next year’s recruiting class includes 6-foot-5 Lindsey West, 6-3 Riana Miller, and guards Danyell Harris and Sarah Tokodi.

Miller and Tokodi signed with Akron as highly touted recruits. Big East schools recruited Miller, who was McCoy’s high school teammate.

A reputable Web site ranked Tokodi as the 65th best high school prospect in the nation. Street and Smith’s named Tokodi to its All-American team two years in a row. She was also a three-time All-West Virginia first team selection.

“I think we got short-changed,” Kennedy said. “I think we were finally to the point where we filled the holes. It would have been nice to have the opportunity to coach those kids.”


The Zips will play a home series against Cleveland State this week. Game one is tomorrow at Lee Jackson Field at 3 p.m. I'll be there for part of it, as long as the weather cooperates. Game two is Wednesday at Canal Park at 6 p.m.

  • In case you are an Indians fan, the Tribe was my topic for today's Rasor's Edge.


Tomorrow's opening of the new softball stadium was postponed due to poor weather, which might include rain and snow.

Honestly, folks, you can't have Luis Proenza throwing the ceremonial first pitch in garbage weather like that.

The ceremonial first game will now be on April 14 against Buffalo.

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