Dedicating Gerry Keenan Court
Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter declared Friday, Oct. 5, "Gerry Keenan Day" in appreciation of Mr. Keenan's long and dedicated service to Saint Paul Public Schools. The community honored Keenan as part of Harding Senior High School’s Homecoming Pepfest in the school's gymnasium, where Principal Doug Revsbeck and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle presented him with the Mayor's proclamation. Superintendent Joe Gothard assisted Harding's entire school community in dedicating their gym floor in honor of Mr. Keenan. The newly painted "Gerry Keenan Court" emblem will inspire future Harding Knights for years to come.
At the dedication ceremony, Keenan thanked the Harding community for the honor. He said, “For 40 years I made the morning announcements, and I always said ‘It’s a great day to be at Harding!’” Another great example of the positive leadership that Keenan brought to his job as a teacher, coach, and mentor to students.
“While many adults throughout Saint Paul and within the Athletics community have had a chance to say farewell and thanks to Mr. Keenan, it was special to witness the Harding student body honor him and say their goodbyes to him,” said Harding Athletic Director Kathy Jackson.
Louie Francisco, Harding alumnus and former basketball player, said he was a new immigrant to this country when he met Keenan 34 years ago. Francisco attended one a basketball camp and played for Keenan on the Harding basketball team, even coaching with him for a few years. Francisco remembered Coach Keenan always said, “It’s hard to win, easy to lose. The coach told us to use our minds and our desire to win a basketball game. Most important, he reminded us to use all those lessons in our lives.” Francisco ended by saying telling Keenan, “You are more than a basketball coach. You are a life coach.”
Keenan was named Harding’s athletic director in 1996. He also served as the senior class advisor, planning the graduation ceremony and senior all-night party for many years. Keenan retired in 2017 after working for SPPS for 57 years.