SUNY Maritime Football Coach (USNA Grad) Prepares for Deployment - ESPN article

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Luigi59, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Coach prepared for deployment

    'When you make a commitment, when you decide to do something, you stick with it.'

    THROGGS NECK, N.Y. -- Follow Long Island Sound to the south as it narrows along the coastline of the Bronx and meets the East River, to the 55-acre campus of the State University of New York's Maritime College, which sits, almost unnoticed, on a spectacular peninsula that splays out underneath the Throggs Neck Bridge.

    It is a staggeringly beautiful fall evening, with enough wind gusts to send the Lasers of the school's sailing team bouncing through the whitecaps. The lights of the bridge are already visible, and to the southwest, you can see the graceful suspension cables of the Whitestone Bridge, planes gliding in and out of LaGuardia Airport, and the gold-tinged skyline of Manhattan, backlit by the sinking sun.

    A few weeks ago at Reinhart Field, these aesthetics were an afterthought. The Privateers were going through the last full-contact practice before their ninth game of the season, led by coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes, a study in kinetic energy and khaki cargo shorts. His two boys, Bo and Wills, 12 and 9, respectively, wrestled over a football in a vacant corner, and his wife, Johanna, watched the drills from behind a fence.

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    Coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes on the sideline for the playing of the national anthem.

    The team was undefeated, an unprecedented event for a program that in 23 previous seasons had managed only one winning record, but a vague sense of disquiet hung over the field that night -- a gnawing anxiety that the magnificent chemistry that Kendrick-Holmes has worked so hard to create here was about to change forever.

    For the coach, a graduate of the Naval Academy and a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve, soon will be deployed to Afghanistan for about a year. He's 40 now, and he'll be eligible for retirement in two years. As a volunteer, he easily could have taken himself out of harm's way a few years ago. But he didn't.

    "When you make a commitment, when you decide to do something, you stick with it," Kendrick-Holmes said. "No matter what happens, whether something is considered easy or hard, you still have to live with that commitment."

    This isn't just about disrupting a family of four. This past Saturday, the Privateers -- 87 players, eight assistant coaches and a team manager -- finished the regular season 10-0. When the NCAA announces the Division III playoff field Sunday (and no undefeated team has been excluded since expansion 11 years ago), Maritime College should be in line for a first-round game Nov. 20.

    Kendrick-Holmes said he expects to be on the sideline for the most important game in school history, but going forward, all bets are off. If the Privateers win their first-round game, it's probable that after six seasons of sweat and sacrifice, the coach's pre-deployment training will take him away from his team.

    Sitting in the conference room across the lobby from his football office, Kendrick-Holmes shrugged.

    "It's much like we tell our players when somebody gets hurt: 'We haven't designed the program around one person,'" he said. "So it's kind of like, 'Next man up,' for the head coach."

    (Article continues HERE)
     
  2. Long Island Sound

    Long Island Sound 2015 Candidate Parent

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    The more I learn about SUNY Maritime the more I like it. It's our son's plan "B", but he says it's more like a plan "A-minus". Best of luck to Coach Kendrick-Holmes, his family, and the team.
     

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