CEDAR RAPIDS — Brian White is the new head football coach at Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
He’ll be the head cheerleader, too.
“I’ll bring a lot of emotion,” he said Tuesday, after Kennedy made the announcement that the former assistant will succeed Tim Lewis, who resigned in December.
“I’ll jump around and be excited right along with the players.”
White, 43, has been part of the Kennedy football program since 2006, serving as the defensive coordinator and coaching linebackers, running backs and tight ends during that time.
Kennedy has been to the playoffs nine straight years. The Cougars were 8-4 last fall, reaching the Class 4A quarterfinals.
“It’s not as if I’m coming into a program that’s broken,” White said. “There’s nothing broken here. I think this is one of the best football programs in the state.”
The 2010 Iowa Football Coaches Association Class 4A assistant coach of the year, White met with Kennedy Athletics Director Aaron Stecker about the position after Lewis resigned.
“When he told me he was interested, I told him I didn’t want him to be the best internal candidate. I wanted him to be the best candidate, period,” said Stecker, who interviewed three candidates.
“And he was.”
A 1989 graduate of Linn-Mar, White played for the Lions, then at Coe College. He earned his BA in business administration from Coe in 1993 and finished his secondary education requirements in 1997. White also earned his Master’s degree in the educational leadership program from the University of Northern Iowa in 2009.
Prior to his arrival at Kennedy, White was at Cedar Rapids Washington as a teacher and assistant football and track coach.
“His energy, his passion, his intensity … it drives his work ethic,” Stecker said. “That allows kids to reach their potential.
“Plus he has the belief that football is the gateway to bigger and better things for young men, that it will set them up for success later on in life.”
White began his third season as the Kennedy boys’ track coach Tuesday, just hours after his football hiring. The Cougars were fourth in Class 4A at the state track meet last year.
“As long as I’m the football coach, I’ll be involved with the track program,” White said. “Whether that means as the head coach (long term), we’ll have to wait and see.”
White teaches government, U.S. history and economics at Kennedy. He and his wife Debbie have three sons, the oldest of which will be a freshman at Kennedy next fall.