PLYMOUTH, N.H. – For the second time in less than a week, one of Plymouth State College’s high profile coaches has moved on, according to athletic director Steve Bamford.
Head football coach Mike Kemp, who has guided the Panthers the last three seasons, resigned Monday. He will become the head football coach at Utica College in Utica, NY, a school starting football in the fall of 2000.
Kemp’s resignation comes on the heels of the departure of head men’s basketball coach Jim Ferry, who resigned last week to become head coach at Adelphi University.
“I would like to thank PSC for giving me my first opportunity to become a Head Coach,” said Kemp. “For that reason, PSC will always occupy a special place in my memories.”
A 1975 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Kemp joined the PSC staff prior to the 1996 campaign. He led the Panthers to a 19-12 overall record in his three seasons, taking the team to consecutive ECAC post-season appearances in 1997 and 1998.
“During my coaching career, I have made several moves that have asked my family to make huge sacrifices,” said Kemp. “This is the first time in my career where we will be able to do what is best for our family. We are originally from the Western New York area. Currently we are a nine-hour drive from family and friends. Utica College will be three hours from that area. We want our children growing up knowing who their grandparents are.”
Kemp indicated it was a tough decision to leave the PSC program. He has worked the last three years to instill his own system and get everyone on the same page.
“It takes 3-5 years to get your system in and have everyone accept it,” said Kemp. “We are entering Year Four and are right on schedule. Telling these athletes and assistant coaches that we won’t be together this fall is the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do in coaching. This is a talented group that has come together as a team and as a family. I wish them all the success that they deserve this fall.”
Bamford indicated a national search would be conducted. He expects a very large applicant pool, just as when Kemp was hired, with hopes of naming a new coach by June 15th.
“We send Mike on to his new job at Utica with our best wishes,” said Bamford. “It certainly sounds like a tremendous opportunity for he and his family to go back home. Ironically, this had to be a factor just like it was a factor in Jim Ferry’s decision: the close ties to family and friends in the New York area. We certainly want to thank Mike for his three years of dedicated commitment to PSC Football. He really put an investment of time and energy into the position, and I think the fruits of his labor will be realized this coming fall.”
Kemp and his wife Katharine have two children, Stephanie, 8, and Sean, 5.