Sean Kearney enters his first year with the University of Colorado men’s basketball staff as the Director of Player Development and brings 26 years of coaching experience to the Buffaloes.
Regarded as one of the most respected and well-liked coaches in the game today, Kearney was the Associate Head Coach at the University of Notre Dame under head coach Mike Brey from 2000 through 2009. With the Irish, Kearney was part of nine post-season teams, including five NCAA Tournaments (Sweet 16 in 2003) and four NIT berths.
Notre Dame posted a 188-101 record for a 61.0 winning percentage that included six 20-win campaigns and finished with an 88-60 record in Big East regular-season play that included five seasons with 10-plus wins.
Kearney also coached at least one player in his nine seasons that were named to the Big East All-Conference team, including a pair of conference player of year nominees, one rookie of the year, and nine first team selections.
Kearney aided in the development of first-round NBA Draft picks Troy Murphy in 2001 and Ryan Humphrey in 2002. Also under his tutelage, 2006 graduate Torin Francis earned Big East all-conference honors two of his four seasons (as an all-rookie team selection in 2003 and all-conference honorable mention choice in 2004) and finished his career as one of only seven players in school history with better than 1,000 career points and 900 rebounds. Forward Luke Harangody was named Big East Player of the Year in 2008 and is the first player in league history to lead the conference in scoring in back-to-back seasons.
“Sean is going to be a great addition to our staff,” Boyle said. “Sean brings a lot of experience as an assistant and head coach, and has a great perspective. He’s going to be a great-sounding board for me based on all the years of his experience he has in the game.
“He has recruiting ties all-around the country,” Boyle added. “Sean has recruited nationally from coast-to-coast and has a lot of ties back east that some of our coaches on staff don’t necessarily have.”
After Notre Dame, Kearney was the men’s basketball head coach for one year at the College of the Holy Cross (2009-2010).
Although not on the coaching sideline over the last three years (2010-2013), Kearney was not far from the college game working as a color analyst for Irish radio broadcasts, in addition to Big East and Big Ten games with ESPN during the 2012-2013 season. During October and November months, Kearney traveled throughout the country attending NBA training camps and early season basketball practices at numerous college campuses.
Prior to Notre Dame, Kearney spent nine years (1991-2000) at the University of Delaware where he helped the Blue Hens to their only NCAA tournament appearances (1992, 1993, 1998 and 1999).
In each of the final three years at Delaware, the Blue Hens registered at least 20 wins, a first in that school's history. Kearney was instrumental in developing the Blue Hens' post players. Three of the players he worked with -- Greg Smith, Spencer Dunkley and Mike Pegues -- combine to hold over 20 Blue Hen records.
“I have a great respect for what Coach Boyle and his staff has done in the three short years here in Boulder,” Kearney said, who begins his eighth coaching stint and seventh in the collegiate ranks. “The achievements they already have, is remarkable, not only have they done it with coaching, but they also have done it with recruiting, and I think the sky is the limit right now with this group.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of that and hopefully have a positive impact myself. Certainly there’s no need to re-invent the wheel around here, but if I can help a little bit, I’m anxious to do that in any area that Coach Boyle or his staff needs me to help in.”
Kearney began his coaching career in 1981 as an assistant at his alma mater, Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Pa.
From 1981-1986, he spent five years working with his former high school coach, Bud Gardler. While coaching at Cardinal O'Hara, he was employed as a senior systems analyst for Cigna. It was during that time that Kearney joined the staff of the prestigious Five-Star Basketball Camps. That association helped him move on to the college coaching ranks.
His collegiate coaching career began in dramatic fashion at Providence College as a volunteer assistant under Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino. There he was on coaching staff that included Herb Sendek (current Arizona State head coach), Stu Jackson (former NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations), Gordie Chiesa (former Utah Jazz NBA assistant), and Jeff Van Gundy (former NBA assistant and head coach).
During his only season at the Providence, R.I. school, the Friars advanced to the Final Four of the 1987 NCAA tournament in New Orleans by winning the Southeast Regional championship, marking the school's second Final Four appearance.
After Pitino moved to the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, Kearney became an assistant under Hall of Fame basketball head coach Herb Magee at Division II power Philadelphia Textile (now Philadelphia University). After just one season, he moved to Northwestern where he was an assistant coach under Bill Foster from 1988-1991.
Kearney graduated with honors from the University of Scranton in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in political science, was a four-year member of the Royals' basketball team. In his final two seasons, Scranton finished with consecutive 18-11 records. He was a member of teams that won three Middle Atlantic Conference titles and earned three NCAA Division III playoff appearances. As a senior, he averaged 4.2 assists per game.
Born Nov. 14, 1959 in Darby, Pa., he is married to the former Kimberly Lancaster. The couple has two daughters, Erin and Shannon.