POUGHKEEPSIE – Christmas 2017 was less than “the most wonderful time of the year” in the McIlvenny household following the unforeseen firing of Arlington girls soccer coach Kieran McIlvenny, on the last school day before Christmas break.
“It was tough on me and it was tough on my family”, said McIlvenny in a phone interview exclusively to HVNN.com, “because I didn’t do anything wrong”.
McIlvenny had been the head coach for the past 10 years, bringing the varsity girls soccer team to the New York State championship game in 2011 and winning it in 2016. He also guided the program to five Section One titles. The troubling part was that McIlvenny had just received a stellar performance review by Arlington Athletic Director Michael Cring, scoring an excellent rating in 31 of 33 review points, and then told by Arlington Superintendent Brendan Lyons that it was “time for a change”.
It has still not been determined what McIlvenny did to deserve the firing but one of the parents, unhappy about his daughter’s lack of playing time, posted on his Facebook page “best Christmas present ever”, after news got out that McIlvenny was fired from his coaching position.
But that was then, and this is now. Kieran McIlvenny is back, and ready to branch his legacy off into the college ranks.
“It’s exciting”, said McIlvenny on the first day of practice. “It’s fresh.”
McIlvenny joins Head Coach James Purdy as part of the coaching staff for Men’s Soccer team at Dutchess Community College for the Fall 2018 Season.Purdy is entering his 8th season at the helm.
In 2010 Coach McIlvenny was selected by the Mid-Hudson Soccer Official’s Association as the “Bill Garvey” Coach of the Year for High School Soccer as the Head Coach of the Girls Varsity Soccer Program at Arlington.
In 2011 he led Arlington to the State Final and earned both League Coach of the Year and Poughkeepsie Journal Coach of the Year awards and was voted MSG Varsity Hudson Valley Coach of the Year.
In 2012 Arlington won its 3rd Section title in five years. Coach McIlvenny was again selected as the Poughkeepsie Journal Coach of the Year. In 2014 Arlington won another league title and Coach McIlvenny was selected as the Poughkeepsie Journal Coach of the Year. After winning the New York State Class AA title in 2016, the Admirals won a 5th Sectional title under Coach McIlvenny going 20-1. He was selected as the league Coach of the Year and was selected to coach the High School All American match in Orlando, Florida. Coach McIlvenny was elected into The East Hudson Soccer Hall Of Fame in the Fall of 2017.
He had other opportunities to coach both boys and girls soccer teams but decided to take it up a notch and coach at the college ranks.
“I felt the environment had changed a little bit, and this was a great opportunity.”, said the smiling Assistant Coach at DCC.
I was my pure luck that we were able to get Kieran.”, said Head Coach Jim Purdy. “He has a wealth of knowledge, his success with the Arlington girls program, he’s a National A License, so when I knew there was an opening here for an assistant coach, he was the first person I thought of.”
Purdy and McIlvenny had a good working relationship prior to this appointment.
“I’ve known him for many years.”
Athletic Director Matthew Paquet commented on the addition of Coach McIlvenny by stating, “We are thrilled to have Coach McIlvenny joining our program as he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him that will help grow and improve our Men’s Soccer program. The players and coaches are excited to get started as we look forward to the Fall 2018 season”.