article from the LaRue County Herald News
COACH MARK “SHINY” KEARNEY
Over the last twenty years the LaRue County Baseball program has had three head coaches (Eric Hughes, Chris Price, and Eric Allen). Over the last fourteen years Price and Allen led the Hawks as former LCHS graduates. Last Tuesday, Mark “Shiny” Kearney was tabbed as the Hawks next Head Baseball Coach replacing Eric Allen.
The interviewing process consisted of a three person committee, interviewing seven quality candidates over a two-week period.
Kearney has over twenty years coaching experience. He spent three years at Campbellsville University at the top assistant; seven years at the high school level (winning 5 district titles) and earning the 5th region assistant coach of the year; and numerous years as a youth baseball coach. He also played college baseball at Campbellsville. Kearney’s wife (Angie) is a first grade teacher at Taylor County. They have been married for seventeen years. The Kearney’s have two sons, KJ and Grayson. KJ is a sixteen year old junior and Grayson will be a fifth grader.
Kearney is excited about the opportunity. “Larue County has a great baseball tradition. I think it a great opportunity to grow and compete on a yearly basis.”
“It was clear that Mark has a strong passion and understanding of the game,” says Principal Denise Skaggs. “I was impressed with his desire to uphold the longstanding tradition of Hawk Baseball by continuing to focus on a team oriented approach.”
Superintendent of Campbellsville Schools, and former head CHS baseball coach Kirby Smith says, “Shiny is great guy, who is a student of the game. He will work hard to continue the rich tradition of Hawk Baseball.”
Kearney’s love of baseball is well known throughout the Campbellsville community, and the region. “My father coached little league baseball for over thirty years. He continued coaching many years after his children was out of the program. Kearney’s have coached the Little League Twins for nearly fifty years.”
Kearney adds, “My biggest baseball mentor was my Dad. He spent countless hours with baseball because he loved the game and the kids. I think I get the passion for the game from him. I believe we will be fun to watch. We will stress being fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game. We will play small ball and be aggressive when we need to make something happen.”
“My coaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of team unity and growth, mental toughness, and building a positive team culture with focus on attitude and effort,” says Kearney. “My teams will show sportsmanship in victory and defeat, will be disciplined on and off the field, strive to compete in all circumstances, and work hard to improve not only in the game of baseball but the game of life.”
Kearney concludes by saying, “I will work to hold each player accountable and responsible for his actions and strive to foster the growth of my players and team. A coach is a teacher and I hope to help influence our players not only to become better baseball players but better young men.”
Although baseball does not officially begin until February, Kearney is eager to get started and learn as much about the program and the community as possible. Kearney and Allen recently met for two hours discussing the past and the future of Hawks Baseball. “Coach Kearney is well known and well respected in baseball circles in the area. He has many years’ experience at the college, high school, and youth levels. I’m excited for him to get this opportunity and I’m also excited for our players to get to learn and compete under such a first class coach and person. Our program is in good hands.”