After 15 seasons coaching the varsity hockey team at Walsh Jesuit, having served the last 10 as head coach, Pat McKendry is stepping down because of a desire to spend more time with his family.
The Warriors were eliminated from the Kent District tournament mid-February and McKendry informed his team two days later. McKendry mentions that the continuity and strength of the program will remain unchanged as he transitions out of his position. Even while coaching, consistency was most important to McKendry.
“Pat has been a superb coach and role model for 15 years---we will truly miss him! I am grateful to his wife Maggie who supported him so well and am happy that he has positioned the program for continued success in the future,” said Karl Ertle, Walsh Jesuit President.
McKendry has been with Walsh Jesuit Hockey from the beginning, serving as an assistant to Bill Switaj from 2004-2009 and then served as head coach. Switaj and McKendry started the program and have been the only two head coaches in program history.
“The best thing about coaching Walsh Jesuit hockey was the ability to build a family-centric program. We created a community not only with our athletes, but with their parents and other supporters of the program,” said McKendry.
McKendry’s teams won 172 games during his tenure as head coach, which included runs to the Kent District championship game in 2017 and 2018. The Warriors advanced at least as far as the district semifinals in eight of his 10 seasons in the head job. Within the conference, the Warrior’s record with rivals such as Holy Name: 22-11-1; Padua: 17-3-3; Hudson: 13-2-2.
“I have been grateful and lucky to have coached for 15 years and owe my sincere thanks to a number of people,” said McKendry. “Most importantly, my wife and daughter for supporting me throughout the years. Also, to a great friend and mentor Bill Switaj. Bill prepped me to be a coach and I cannot say enough to show my gratitude towards Bill. Our school administration, Barb Salata, Karl Ertle, Mark Hassman and Mark Herbele have always been so supportive of me and our hockey program - I cannot thank them enough. Our former Athletic Director Grant Conzaman is also someone who I owe a lot to, he was there for me in my early years as a coach and was always so supportive.”
Walsh Jesuit has begun the search for a new hockey coach and anticipates that a new coach will be named in the next few months.