Most people assume you're not from the USA since not many guys play field hockey here?!

"Good assumption! I was born and raised in South Africa. I had been back and forth between here and SA since 2006, but offically moved here in 2012."

When did you start playing field hockey?

"I started playing in elementary school and carried on through high school. I ended up playing College for UKZN and finally club hockey." 

Do you still play?

"Yes, I play for NYCFHC (New York City Field Hockey Club). I've been playing this incredible game for over 20 years now!"

How long have you been coaching and who have you primarily worked with?

"I actually started in my senior year in high school! First as a volunteer and then working my way up; so I've been coaching for about 15 years now. I've worked with all age groups, from ages 6 to 60; through school, college and club players. I also have spent a lot of time teaching coaches how to coach. But I would say most of my time has been spent as head coach of both boys and girls high school varsity teams. In my earlier years I spent most of my time coaching boys field hockey but recent years have been spent with more girls teams. Having experience with both gives me a unique view on coaching which I find very beneficial." 

Coach K in his junior year in high school playing for the boys varsity hockey team

2010 unbeaten varsity indoor team. Coach K returned to his high school as the boys varsity head coach. During his time there, the indoor team won 3 titles in 5 years. 

Why do you coach?

"There is no better feeling than watching a player or a team succeed knowing you had a hand in molding that moment. I have a true love for the game and sharing that with the players I coach is something I hope to be able to continue for many years." 

What do you believe are the most important aspects to being a successful player?

"A lot of factors go into being successful on the field, but bottom line is technique, technique and technique. I see this over looked so often; having the correct technique when preforming any skill gives you a much greater chance of success."

Any special coaching moments stand out?

"There are so many but one that comes to mind is my final game of the year with my 2010 varsity boys team. I mad a deal with them early on in the year that if they went unbeaten for the season I would coach in a suit for the final game. And they did! They went unbeaten in both indoor and field...so a deal was a deal." 

2011 boys and girls varisty teams, both coached by Coach K, on their successful Johannesburg tour. The boys team going unbeaten and the girls team with only one loss. 

2012 u18 district team. Coach K was selected to coach this team comprising of the best players in the district to take on other all star teams in South Africa.

What have been the greatest honors you have recieved as a coach?

"There are 3 that stand out to me. I had been the head coach of the varsity boys program as Carter High (in SA) for a few years when they approached me to also coach the girls varsity team who played in the same season. While challenging, it was a huge honor. When I left South Africa, the school named a sports award 'The Kieran Killeen Award,' now that brought a tear to my eyes! And finally, being asked to coach the u18 district team was a rewarding and special experience." 

Favorite goal you've ever scored?

" I'd have to say is was one I scored for a club team in South Africa, Olympics, which was also my luckiest goal! The ball was crossed into the circle from the right and was getting away from me. I decided to slide and try to deflect it. Not sure how, but it some how ended up in the back of the net! I think if I tried that a hundred more times I don't think it would work!"  

1/17

Killeen Academy 2014    -    Serving Northern New Jersey    -    KilleenAcademy@gmail.com