Joe Kennedy is in his fifth season on the College of the Holy Cross men’s basketball staff in 2019-2020, serving as an assistant coach.
In 2017-2018, Kennedy assisted in guiding Holy Cross to the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament, while ranking second in the conference in scoring defense (67.7 points per game), field goal percentage defense (43.1 percent) and blocked shots (3.4 blocks per game). Previously in 2016-2017, he helped the Crusaders lead the Patriot League in scoring defense (62.1 points per game), steals (9.4 steals per game), turnover margin (+4.9 turnovers per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23-to-1).
During the 2015-2016 campaign, Kennedy helped the Crusaders to their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1953 and their first Patriot League Tournament title since 2007. Holy Cross also won all four of its Patriot League Tournament games on the road, becoming the first team in conference history to accomplish that feat.
Kennedy joined the Crusaders after serving as a video coordinator for the Sacramento Kings during the 2014-2015 season. In 2013-2014, Kennedy was the director of player personnel at Oregon State University. He previously spent three seasons as the director of men’s basketball operations at Northwestern University from 2010-2013. While at Northwestern, Kennedy assisted in a variety of responsibilities with the program, including handling all travel arrangements and serving as the team’s academic liaison.
Kennedy is a 2007 graduate of Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in education and social policy. He was a four-year letterman on the Wildcats’ basketball team, was named a team captain his senior season and received Academic All-Big Ten recognition three times. His father, Pat Kennedy, was a head coach for 33 years at Iona, Florida State, DePaul, Montana, Towson and Pace.
Prior to returning to Northwestern as director of basketball operations, Kennedy was a special assistant for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House from January 2009 to October 2010, where he served as a liaison to key national advocates and organizations that helped promote and implement the administration’s legislative priorities. It primarily focused on outreach to youth, students, amateur and professional sports organizations, including individual athletes and their representatives, sports agencies, teams and the commissioner’s offices.
He also built a coalition of sports organizations, including the NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA, USOC and the NCAA, to promote the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign against childhood obesity, and coordinated and executed championship visits and other sporting events at the White House.
From April 2007 to January 2009, Kennedy worked for the Obama for America and Obama Transition Team where he coordinated logistics and event planning for the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Relations. He was the regional director in Polk County, Iowa, where he managed the daily operations of four campaign offices and a full-time staff of 16 people.
Kennedy also worked for the Hoop Group in Neptune, N.J., in 2008 as a special assistant to the president and coordinated logistics for Spring Jam Fests in Pittsburgh, Pa., Providence, R.I., and Charlottesville, Va.
Kennedy’s wife, Karlee, is a 2005 graduate of Sam Houston State University, where she was a four-year letterwinner on the volleyball team and holds the school record with 5,610 career assists. The couple has one son (Emmett).