A. R. Kennedy
Kennedy pictured c. 1908 with the Kansas football team
October 24, 1876|
|Died||June 29, 1969
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 MVIAA (1908)|
Albert Rutherford "Bert" Kennedy (October 24, 1876 – September 5, 1969) was an American football player and coach. He was born on the family farm in rural Wakarusa Township, just outside Lawrence, Kansas to Leander Jack Kennedy (September 21, 1836 – June 29, 1903) and Amanda E. Kennedy (née Todd) (November 23, 1841 – March 4, 1926). He played college football at both the University of Kansas, three seasons from 1895 to 1897 including one as team captain, and at the University of Pennsylvania, for one season in 1899. Kennedy also played one year of professional football immediately after graduating from Penn. During this time he played in the first professional football game ever played in Madison Square Garden which was also the first indoor professional football game ever played. After his one and only year of playing professionally, he returned to his home state of Kansas and coached football at Washburn University (1903, 1916–1917), at the University of Kansas (1904–1910), and at the Haskell Institute, now known as Haskell Indian Nations University, (1911–1916), compiling a career record of 96–43–10. His 52 wins with the Kansas Jayhawks football team are the most in the program's history.
Kennedy was the eighth and then the fifteenth head football coach for Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and he held that position for the 1903 season, and then returned for the 1916 and 1917 seasons. His overall coaching record at Washburn was 12 wins, 12 losses, and 3 ties.
Kennedy was the 11th head football coach for the University of Kansas Jayhawks located in Lawrence, Kansas and he held that position for seven seasons, from 1904 until 1910. His overall coaching record at Kansas) was 52 wins, 9 losses, and 4 ties. This ranks him first at Kansas in terms of total wins and second at Kansas in terms of winning percentage.
Kennedy is one of the best performing coaches for Kansas in the Border War (as of 2007 called "Border Showdown") between Kansas and Missouri going 4-1-2 (.714) against them as a coach and 7-1-2 (.800) against them cumulatively as a coach and player.
Haskell Indian Nations
Kennedy was the head coach of the Haskell Indian Nations Fighting Indians football team from 1911 until 1916. At Haskell, his teams managed 32 wins, 22 losses, and 3 ties.
Later life, death, and legacy
He and his wife, Mary Theressa Kennedy (née Kennard), had four children. His youngest son, Ted Kennedy (October 18, 1912 - January 19. 2013), was a two time mayor of Lawrence, Kansas and lifelong dentist in Lawrence, Kansas. He also played a major part in the building of Lake Clinton. His second youngest son, Jesse Kennard "Bud" Kennedy (April 22, 1907 – June 24, 1966) was the head men's basketball coach at Florida State University from 1948 until his untimely death in 1966. Kennedy died on September 5, 1969 at the age of 92. He was survived by his 2nd wife, Harriet H. Kennedy (January 27, 1893 – December 19, 1969), daughter, Mrs. Ruth King, and sons Leander Jack Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Kennedy was laid to rest in Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.
Head coaching record
|Washburn Ichabods (Kansas College Athletic Conference) (1903)|
|Kansas Jayhawks (Independent) (1904–1906)|
|Kansas Jayhawks (Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1907–1910)|
|Haskell Institute Fighting Indians () (1911–1916)|
|Washburn Ichabods (Kansas College Athletic Conference) (1916–1917)|
- Keegan, Tom (November 1, 2007). "His father's Jayhawks". Lawrence Journal World. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Washburn University Football Guide
- Kansas Coaching Records
- KU Athletics Archived March 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Football news
- Mayer, Bill (November 4, 1989). "Presence of All-Americans spurs fond memories". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved December 27, 2010.