Herbert Francis Kenny Jr.

April 11, 1933 - July 09, 2022

Visitation: Family and friends are invited to pay their respects on Sunday, July 17, from 2 until 6 PM at the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main Street, Meriden CT.

Service: A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Monday, July 18 at 10 AM at Saint Joseph Church, 22 Goodwill Avenue, Meriden, CT. Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church


A beloved husband, family man, and well-respected college basketball coach, Herb died peacefully at age 89 on Saturday, July 9, 2022.

Born to the late Herbert and Jennie Kenny in Meriden, CT, he was the youngest of three children. He graduated from Meriden High School and St. Bonaventure University where he was a decorated three-sport athlete (football, basketball, and baseball). After graduation, he became a teacher and coach at Platt High School. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1964 before joining Wesleyan University as a Physical Education Professor and assistant basketball coach. He was a Vice President of the Meriden Board of Education and served from 1955-65 as an officer and commander in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Herb, the winningest coach in the history of Wesleyan men’s basketball, held the head coach position for twenty-seven seasons, 1968-95, and was also the head golf coach for 23 years, and assistant football coach for 15 years. He will always be remembered for his intense coaching style, demanding the highest level of sportsmanship from his teams, and passing on his inspiring leadership qualities to his former players. He was always focused on achieving team goals, especially winning the Little Three (Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst), which was accomplished eight times during his tenure. His teams qualified for six ECAC Tournaments and were the proud recipients of the “Schoenfeld Sportsmanship Award” five times. He was well recognized amongst his peers, the media, and the NCAA. He was named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year (1977), received the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance Gold Key Award (1992), and has been inducted into the Meriden, Middletown, and Wesleyan Hall of Fame. He was acclaimed across the country as one of basketball’s valued ambassadors and was elected as President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1992-93, the first Division III coach to hold the position. He served as an assistant coach on the 1991 gold medal USA team at the World University Games in England, and was a former Board of Director and Third Vice President for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

Herb married the love of his life, Jean (Minor) and they were married for 60 years prior to her passing in 2018. He has missed her immensely, and their reunion in Heaven brings happiness to the entire family. He is survived by his five children: Herbert (Barbara Marino) Kenny III, Susan (Eugene) Scioscia, Patrick (Darlene Ernest) Kenny, Bonnie (Cindy Gregory) Kenny, and Kevin (Barbara Karanikis) Kenny. He has ten beloved grandchildren: Malorie McLaughlin, Brittany Dietz, Claire Dougherty, Andrea Scioscia, Alexander Kenny, Brendan Scioscia, Nicholas Scioscia, Caitlyn Scioscia, Pearl Kenny, and Keira Kenny. He is also survived by eight great-grandchildren.

Family and friends are invited to pay their respects on Sunday, July 17, from 2 until 6 PM at the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main Street, Meriden CT. A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Monday, July 18 at 10 AM at Saint Joseph Church, 22 Goodwill Avenue, Meriden, CT. Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Walnut Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Herbert Kenny, Jr. may be made to: Wesleyan Men’s Basketball, Wesleyan Men’s Basketball Office, Freeman Athletic Center, 161 Cross Street, Middletown, CT 06459 or Hospice Homecare, Allegheny Healthcare Network, Office of Development, 4818 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

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