New Xaverian girls’ coaches set strong foundation

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Xaverian athletics has made three strong hires ahead of the formerly all-boys school’s plan to go co-ed next year.

The school tapped a girls’ soccer, lacrosse, and softball coaches — and named one an assistant athletic director — as it positions itself to take on nemeses Archbishop Molloy and Monsignor McClancy, which are also slated to take female students in 2016.

The Clippers snagged an extremely qualified and knowledgeable leader in naming Margaret McKeon assistant athletic director and girls’ basketball coach. She has a feel for the landscape. The former Christ the King girls hoops stars is one of the best players to ever compete in the Brooklyn-Queens league. She was the first recipient of the Miss New York Basketball award back in 1986 and played at St. John’s.

McKeon also brings an impressive, 25-year coaching resume. She has headed up women’s basketball at Boston University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology — each time elevating the program during her tenure. Prior to that, she served as associate head women’s basketball coach at George Washington University.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to join the Xaverian community in this new venture to build a girls athletic program and winning basketball program from the ground up,” McKeon said in a school release. “My philosophy is that hard work pays off in all aspects of life. I expect productivity on the court, on the field, and in the classroom. Athletics play a critical role in developing qualities that are key for success in college and beyond.”

And she will have help.

The school also tapped Mark Biancoviso to coach softball and Erin Kennedy to lead the girls’ soccer and lacrosse teams.

Biancovisco had excellent ties to the youth softball community as the vice president of the Staten Island chapter of the Saints Fastpitch Softball Club, where he also serves as a manager for 10- and 12-and-under teams, as well as 14U and 16U teams. He also coaches with the Mid-Island Little League and served as director of girls teams at West Shore Little League. He also led the Saints’ Fastpitch 14U team to the New York Downstate Championship and the 2015 United States Specialty Sports Association World Series National Championship.

Kennedy played soccer and ran track at Manhattan College. She coached soccer and lacrosse at St. Joseph by the Sea and helped guide the Vikings soccer team to Catholic High School Athletic Association intersectional and archdiocesan championships. Kennedy also works with the Staten Island United travel soccer program and directs the DK3 Academy, a travel lacrosse program in Staten Island.

The trio brings to Bay Ridge a mix of high-level collegiate experience and a firm foothold at the grass-roots level — both important to building a foundation for the new programs. McKeon’s background and experience will be invaluable to any of the kids and coaches who join the program in the future.

The hires show Xaverian plans on competing at a high level in due time.

It is headed in the right direction.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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