The Fort Campbell Courier
Fort Campbell KY | July 26, 2012
Fort Campbell High School named Tricia Keenan as the new athletic director July 18.
Keenan replaces Ken Jankowski, who resigned in June.
“Ms. Keenan is very hard working and organized,” Mohan Vaswani, high school principal, said in a written statement. “She is a long-time Fort Campbell resident that will build positive relationships within the community.”
Keenan, an Army wife, moved into the Fort Campbell community in 1999. All four of her children have gone through or are currently in Fort Campbell schools.
She became involved with the high school’s sports program when her daughter expressed interest in tennis.
“There was no tennis coach,” Keenan said in a phone interview Friday. “They said, ‘You want your daughter to play? Then come be the coach!’”
Although it started out as a learning experience, Keenan has coached the tennis teams for the past four years.
“Even if they were playing for fun, they learned the sport,” she said. “Most of the kids who came out to play tennis were not even able to hit a ball against the wall. Many of them went on to play in the regional tournament.”
She said she tried to facilitate a seamless transition for the players from learning the sport to becoming a team. In the same way, Keenan said, she hopes to do that as athletic director.
“I want to take care of the yucky stuff that takes coaches away from their time on the court or field,” she said of coaches’ paperwork responsibilities.
Keenan said she wants the coaches to know she’s got their back.
“I want to take the extra work off the coaches so they can give it back to the kids and be a coach,” she said.
Keenan hopes to fill the coaching staff vacancies before the school year progresses too far. She thinks finding and keeping coaches is one of the biggest challenges she will face as athletic director.
One of Keenan’s goals, she said, is to promote a can-do attitude among the athletes, while keeping their safety a priority.
“Like it or not, high school sports is about winning,” she said. “But there’s more based behind that….[I’d say to tennis players] as long as they try and continue to make progress, that’s what had to be looked at.”
Since Keenan’s Family has periodically experienced the absence of her husband, she said she understands the pressures military children go through.
“We never allowed [our children] to use Daddy’s absence as an excuse not to behave the way they’re supposed to,” Keenan explained. “There will always be someone who has it easier than you, and someone you have it easier than. How you respond to that is what matters….I think it gives kids a sense of empowerment.”
Keenan added that she is honored to be working with the coaching staff, and looking forward to working with them and the students.
Vaswani offered how he thinks Keenan will impact the current program.
“Ms. Keenan will support the strong tradition of Falcon pride within all the athletic programs at FCHS,” he said.