December 12th, 2014

Hyland's Heroes: Jake McKinney

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Jake McKinney
The McKinney family / photo provided by Jake McKinney

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to

Jake McKinney is the athletic director at St. Athanasius and is this week’s Hyland’s Heroe. This is McKinney’s Q and A.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I began coaching my two sons as soon as they got old enough to play sports at St Athanasius. I became our athletic director in February of 2014.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

My family is very involved at St. A. My brother in law, Ryan Kolb, is the President of the booster club. Based on the fact that I was a high school athletic director in JCPS for five years, he asked if I would volunteer to fill our vacancy at St. A.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I coached varsity high school boys’ soccer for five years. At St. Athanasius, I have been a basketball coach, soccer coach, and a flag football coach since my sons have been old enough to play.

What's the connection with your faith (stewardship) and giving your time to young student athletes?

I enjoy watching our student athletes grow through their faith and athletics.  I enjoy watching them compete and strive to improve.  We have such a great group of kids; they really represent our community and their families well.  I’m definitely fortunate to be here.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

The most influential person in my coaching career wouldn’t be an actual coach.  It’s the student-athletes.  I love the interaction daily with our athletes.  I can’t stress enough how important the relationships I’ve built with coaches and student athletes are to me.  I keep up with my former students as much as I can.  There’s no better feeling than when they sign a college scholarship, or when they text you a picture of their degree on graduation day.  I can’t think of anything more rewarding.

What are your major themes/principles as the Athletic Director?

I believe that you should compete every day.  Every practice needs to become a competition.  The better the daily competition, the sooner our athletes can reach their full potential.  I believe in our students trying and learning as many sports as possible.  Too many times AAU and club coaches try to direct our kids to focus on specific sports at a young age.  I want our children to explore all aspects of athletics, and find their path through their experiences. 

What does your athletic role at the school bring to you, your family?

Coaching and athletics are part of our everyday lives.  I can’t imagine our family without our kids participating in sports or me coaching.  Being in the military, I’ve had to miss a lot time and events that were important to our kids.  Now that I am able to not only attend their games, but in most cases I’ve been able to coach, makes it that much more special.  It’s definitely time that I’ll cherish as they grow older.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have as the athletic director?

The fondest experience that I have of coaching isn’t about any win or loss… it’s not even about winning a championship. My favorite memory is the relationships that I’ve built with amazing student athletes and a fraternity of coaches and AD’s that continue to impress me daily. It’s such a privilege to be a head coach or an athletic administrator.  I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy being involved at St. A’s or how excited I am about the opportunities that lie ahead for our students.  


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