St. Michael turns to former Warriors standout Jeanne Kenney to be its girls basketball coach _lowres

Associated Press file photo by Rogelio V. Solis -- Former LSU guard Jeanne Kenney is the new St. Michael girls basketball coach

This coaching move was definitely an inside job. Former LSU player Jeanne Kenney has been hired as the new girls basketball coach at her alma mater, St. Michael the Archangel.

The 23-year-old Kenney becomes one of the area’s youngest coaches and replaces her former coach, Tami McClure, who accepted the head girls basketball job at Class 5A Zachary earlier this week. McClure coached the Warriors for 16 years.

Kenney was an assistant to McClure last season, helping the Warriors to a 27-9 record and a berth in the Class 4A semifinals.

“I definitely think coaching is a calling,” Kenney said. “It’s something I’ve done since I was playing in high school and middle school. It made me a better player.

“Getting the chance to work with Tami this year showed me a lot. I’m pretty sure I still need to apologize to her for being so hard-headed when I played. I do think the high school level is where you can have the greatest impact on a player. I look forward continuing the things she started.”

Kenney was a four-year starter for the Warriors. She earned all-state honors as the Warriors won Class 4A state titles in 2008 and 2009. At LSU, Kenney was a three-year starter at guard. She averaged 11.3 points per game as a senior and saw her career cut short in 2014 by a concussion during the Tigers’ NCAA tourney run.

In 2014-15 Kenney worked as an assistant coach at UCLA while completing a master’s degree in athletic administration from Concordia University of Irvine, California, Kenney plans to meet with the St. Michael players next week.

“I didn’t want to turn this program over to just anybody,” McClure said. “Jeanne was always my choice to take over before she even knew it might be something she wanted.

“Her knowledge of the game and her vision — the way she sees every position on the court — will allow her to give the girls insight they’ve never had before. I do believe some people are born to coach, and Jeanne is one of them.”