SAGINAW COUNTY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Tom Kennelly was born and raised in
Richland Township and played football for Hall of Fame
coach Bob Wallace at Hemlock High School.
After graduating from Central Michigan University in 1971,
he began working at his alma mater before going to work
for Swan Valley High School. “TK,” as he is known to
his friends, is now in his 35th season of coaching the girls’
varsity softball team. He earned his 1,000th career victory
in 2014, making him just the third softball coach in Michigan
High School Athletic Association history to pass the milestone. He has the most wins of any softball coach in Saginaw County and the record for most wins at one school. His varsity softballers have reached the 30-win plateau in four of the past five seasons, including three straight trips to the Final Four in Battle Creek. The Vikings have had just one losing season in 35 years with Kennelly as coach, and SV has captured 22 conference championships, 17 district crowns, 9 regional titles and 8 appearances in the Final Four. Swan Valley finished as the state runner-up 4 times (1994, 2002, 2012 and 2013), and won the state championship in 1986. At least 10 of his pitchers that have gone through his program have ended up pitching in college. While at Swan Valley he also coached the girls’ basketball team from 1989-2007; racking up an impressive 321-122 record. On the hardcourt his teams won seven Tri-Valley Conference titles, 10 district titles, three regional titles, one quarterfinal game and had one runner-up finish. He was an assistant football coach on the varsity level at both Hemlock High School and Swan Valley from 1970-1989, then coached the Vikings’ freshman football team from 2007-2014, and also coached wrestling for four years at the school. Kennelly has also been very active in the summer as a volunteer coach for numerous youth teams that played in the Thomas Township Recreation Department. He has served as a coach for both soccer and basketball teams for six years and football and softball teams for four years. Kennelly was inducted into the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1998. He was named the Michigan High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2012; the same year he was selected as National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association. Kennelly retired as a teacher in 2010. He and his wife Janet have two daughters and one son and reside in Thomas Township.
CLASS OF 2014