J. K. Kennedy

J. K. Kennedy (1907-1966)

Teams coached: Florida State Seminoles
Florida State record: 236-208 (.532)
Overall record: 236-208 (.532)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0
  • NAIA Tournament Appearances:  2  (1951, 1955)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1948-1966 Florida State
1947-1948 Florida State (asst)

J. K. Kennedy Facts

  • Jesse Kennard “Bud” Kennedy
  • Born April 22, 1907
  • Died June 24, 1966
  • Hometown: Lawrence, Kansas
  • Alma mater: College of Pittsburg (BA, 1932)
  • Grew up in Lawrence, KS where his father, A. R. Kennedy, was the Kansas Jayhawks’ head football coach
  • The younger Kennedy played at Kansas, Baker University (KS) and Pittsburg State (then Kansas Teachers College)
  • Became athletic manager and assistant basketball coach to Don Loucks at Florida State in 1947
    • The 1947-48 season was FSU’s first year of men’s basketball competition
  • Kennedy became the head coach in 1948, leading the Seminoles program for the next 18 years
    • Went 236-208 overall, initially coaching the team in NAIA competition until they moved to NCAA Division I in 1955
    • Reached the NAIA Tournament twice (in 1951 and 1955) before the move up to D-I
  • Died of cancer in 1966 following what would be his last season at Florida State; he was 59 years old at the time
    • His former player and assistant Hugh Durham, now a College Basketball Hall of Famer, took over as head coach
  • Kennedy was posthumously inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 1977

J. K. Kennedy Coaching Tree

  • Hugh Durham (Jacksonville, Georgia, Florida State)
  • Tom Nissalke (CLE Cavaliers, UTA Jazz, HOU Rockets, SA Spurs, SEA SuperSonics)
  • John Powless (Wisconsin)
  • Joe Williams (Florida State, Furman, Jacksonville)