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New Jefferson County athletic hires look to change Tiger culture

Posted at 11:55 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 00:27:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As far as coaching hires go, Jefferson County K-12 in Monticello, made a big one Monday night, hiring former Florida State men's basketball coach Pat Kennedy to be their new athletic director and boys basketball coach.

A few months ago, the Tigers hired Lenorris Footman, a Jefferson County alum, to head their football team. Footman won a state title with the Tigers in 2011, and was a stand-out at Alcorn State. Two big hires, and principal Jackie Pons hopes it brings back the Jefferson County athletic program to what it was not too long ago.

"Lenorris brought us instant credibility in football, and now Pat does in basketball and athletics," said Pons. "This was huge for us. I needed two hires, and I needed an impact hire. I have 370 students going to school in Leon county, and a lot play sports. When they get up in the morning, they're going to realize a Hall of Fame basketball coach is coaching in Jefferson County."

Of those students going to schools in other counties, Pons said many are athletes. He said athletics are a big part of turning around the academic side of the school, and his hope is that these hires start that change.

"We've got to turn this thing around, and in order to turn it around, you need quality people. You need great coaches. You need great teachers. The school system was a charter school. It was taken away from the community and now we're bringing it back, and what a better way to put the icing on the cake then having Pat Kennedy and Lenorris Footman leading the resurgence of this athletic program."

Kennedy's official start date is July 1st.