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Longtime Lebanon girls basketball coach Kehoe ends run with Raiders

  • Head coach Tim Kehoe gives his team encouragement as the game tightened up between the third and fourth quarters of their NHIAA Division II championship game with Hollis-Brookline in Manchester, N.H., on March 10, 2017. Lebanon won, 44-35. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon girls basketball coach Tim Kehoe offers encouragement to his team while playing against Hanover in Hanover, N.H., on Dec. 14, 1991. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon coach Tim Kehoe reacts during the Raiders’ loss to Coe-Brown on Dec. 29, 2004. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News - James M. Patterson

  • Lebanon girls basketball coach Tim Kehoe runs the "Mad Dog" drill with his team during their practice on Nov. 29, 2012, at Lebanon High School. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/31/2020 9:21:04 PM
Modified: 3/31/2020 9:20:57 PM

LEBANON — It’s time for Tim Kehoe to focus on his family.

The longtime Lebanon High girls basketball coach said as much on Tuesday, confirming his decision to step down from the job he’s held over the past 29 years.

Kehoe amassed 545 wins with the Raiders over that time, with six shared or outright NHIAA state championships. Including three winters at other programs prior to joining Lebanon in 1991, Kehoe possesses 576 victories on his basketball coaching resume.

“My parents (Edward and Grace) are older, and they’ve been there for me; I think it’s time for me to be there for them a little more,” Kehoe said in a phone interview from his Weathersfield home. “Like I said on my Facebook page, my kids are all grown up, and it would be nice to come home to (wife) Jen before 9 p.m. and not lock myself away and watch film for four months.”

Even with taking the 2013-14 campaign off to help his brother, Ed, through cancer treatments, Kehoe compiled a record that ranks among the most impressive in state history.

Now 53, Kehoe took over the Raiders from Hank Tenney in 1991 and had Lebanon at the top of the NHIAA Class I heap just two winters later.

The Raiders added Class I championships in 2001 and ’07 and Division II honors in ’13 and ’17. Lebanon was declared co-champion with Spaulding earlier this month when the NHIAA was forced to cancel the D-II title game set for March 14 at UNH because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kehoe gave the word to Lebanon athletic director Mike Stone on Friday.

“He’s just so dedicated at what he does,” Stone said. “Obviously, it’s hard to see somebody like that (leave). I get it, I’ve been there, but to see someone want to step back for a bit, it’s certainly going to be a loss for us.”

Lebanon produced 20-win seasons 14 times under Kehoe, including seven straight from 2006-13. The Raiders reached the state semifinals 20 times during Kehoe’s tenure, finishing state runner-up on five occasions.

Kehoe procured his first high school coaching job, at Pittsburg High in Coos County, right after graduating from Gordon College, where he played basketball.

The Rhode Island native spent one year at Pittsburg, then two more at Newport High — coaching the boys one year, the girls the next — before the move to Lebanon.

Since circumstances prevented the state finals, Kehoe’s last game was a 60-56 semifinal defeat of archrival Hanover in which the Raiders erased a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter.

That ultimately capped a 545-108 run at Lebanon, although Kehoe said he’s open to being a coach again sometime in the future.

“It’s a great town to be in,” said Kehoe, who teaches physical education at LHS. “I just think it was a great place to be, a great place to teach, sports-oriented. I feel fortunate to have stepped into a situation where I could be successful.”

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.




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