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Keeney named head coach of wrestling team

Keeney (click for larger version)
June 23, 2010 - A coaching era in Oxford wrestling came to an end as the Oxford High School Athletic Department recommended to the Board of Education that Brad Keeney take over as varsity wrestling coach, effective immediately.

"It's a tremendous honor to be named Head Coach of a program like Oxford," Keeney said.

Keeney will take over for co-coaches Paul McDevitt and Scott Couch, both of whom stepped down from their duties at the conclusion of 2009-10 season.

Couch and McDevitt leave Keeney with a very strong program that went 30-4 last year with a Flint Metro League championship, district and regional trophies and a District one state semifinal appearance.

"Paul McDevitt, Scott Couch and the wrestling coaches have done an amazing job to build this program," Keeney said. "For me to walk into a program like this is a blessing."

He added that the Wildcat program has a great family feel to it and that this was the first time he felt anything remotely close to the atmosphere in the Oxford program.

Keeney is no stranger when it comes to wrestling.

As a 1999 graduate of Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, Keeney was a two-time all-state wrestler. After high school, he went to Eastern Michigan University, where he lettered twice in wrestling.

He graduated from EMU with his Bachelor's Degree in Special Education and his minor in Psychology.

From there, he spent three seasons as a assistant coach in wrestling for Fenton from 2006-2008. He joined the Wildcats as an assistant coach in 2009.

The only goal for Keeney in his first year is to win a state title. In order to do that, Keeney is looking to increase the physical strength of the team.

"I think we need to hit the weight room more and spend a little bit of time modifying the wrestling curriculum that we are going to be giving to the kids, and we are in the process of doing that right now," he said.

Keeney looks to bring the same intensity and passion to his position as his predecessors.

"It's an intense style, kind of no-nonsense goal oriented style," he said of his coaching style. "I think I am going to bring some things in that weren't there before just because of my personality and the type of way I want to run things."

Even though he will be titled as Head Coach, he does see himself being a part of a group of coaches that will make the Wildcats go.

"We are going to be coaching as a team of coaches and be showing our strengths to make sure the kids are well rounded," Keeney said.

"I think if you want to be a successful team and you have more than one good coach, you need to get the best out of every coach you have," Keeney added. "Part of my role is making sure that each kid is getting the best part of each coach we have."

One of the advantages that Keeney sees is that he will be able to interact with students on a daily basis since he teaches Special Education at OHS.

"The advantage is being in the school everyday and seeing the kids everyday and making sure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing academically or seeing them in the hallways and preparing them for matches," he explained.

Heading into the Oakland Activities Association next year, Keeney expects to be challenged every time they step onto the mat.

"We are in the top division, the red one . . . but it's nothing I don't think we can handle," he said.

Keeney is married to his wife of five years Andrea, and has one daughter, Madison, who is 2 years old. They are currently expecting their second child.

When he is not in the classroom or instructing on the mat, Keeney likes to relax by golfing and fishing.

"I am excited and this is a tremendous opportunity to have and I think that being part of this community has been one of the most positive experiences of my life," Keeney said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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