There’s something to be said when you become a head coach at the school from which you graduated. Throughout the years, there have been many PCHS alumni that come back to continue to contribute to the school legacy as staff. Whether they come back to coach, teach, or mentor, they all strive to make an impact on the students, other faculty and the community. The love for their school and community has only become stronger since they graduated from PCHS. Many express that the impact that the school and faculty had on them, inspired them to come back.
This year, Providence Catholic welcomes back five alumni who are returning to their sports as head coaches. “We are very excited to have so many of our very own alumni returning to coach,” says Athletic Director, Doug Ternik. “It is exciting that we get to continue a strong tradition of what Providence Catholic Athletics is about.”
Meet the coaches:
Class of 2011 – Boys and Girls Tennis
Kennedy (a Tinley Park native) is a 2011 graduate of Providence Catholic and was a tennis player all four years, including a state qualifier. She went on to play at Webster University, St. Louis in the SLIAC St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, where she was both a doubles and singles player. Kennedy earned First Team All-Conference in Tennis and went on to compete in the NCAA tournament. She was also named to the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. Kennedy credits Providence Catholic for her long-continued success.
Kennedy received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications. While attending school, she interned for the St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Cardinals, and ESPN. Upon graduation, she continued her career at CBS Radio and St. Louis Magazine. After spending seven years in St. Louis, Kennedy made her way back to Providence Catholic as the Director of Communications. Kennedy currently resides in Tinley Park with her parents, Jeff and Laura Kennedy.
Class of 2004 – Boys Basketball
Murphy (a Homer Glen Native) is a 2004 graduate of Providence Catholic and a former Celtic basketball player. He is a college counselor at Providence Catholic and also taught psychology during his tenure.
He is a graduate of Loyola University, Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Murphy also received his Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Lewis University in 2010.
Murphy has been the Assistant Coach at Providence for the past three seasons. He also led the Freshman team for five years. Prior to that, he spent one year as a sophomore assistant coach at Oak Forest High School. Murphy has also helped coach AAU for the Windy City Magic organization.
Murphy currently resides in New Lenox, IL with his wife, Eileen, and son, Declan.
Jean (Staley) Phelps
Class of 1999 – Girls Volleyball
Phelps is a Joliet native and a 1999 graduate of Providence Catholic. She played volleyball all four years as a setter, winning Regionals her Senior year. She went on to receive a full Athletic Scholarship from Minnesota State University, Moorhead and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business. She continued playing club volleyball for eight years, five of the years playing at 2nd city.
Phelps has been coaching volleyball for the last four years, two of which are with Ultimate Volleyball Club in Frankfort under the direction of Erin Lorenz. This will be Phelps first year as a Head High School volleyball coach.
Jean currently resides in Elwood, IL with her family. She has four children, her oldest just started his Freshman year at Providence Catholic making him the third generation of Celtics in the family.
Class of 2009 – Cheerleading
Stanish is a Tinley Park native and a 2009 graduate of Providence Catholic. Cheerleading has been a part of her life for 15 years. During her time in the Providence Cheerleading program, Stanish competed in the NCA Nationals in Dallas, Texas and the IHSA State Finals at Illinois State University. After graduating from Providence Catholic, she attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo Michigan where she studied Human Resource Management.
Prior to accepting the head coaching position at Providence, Taylor had been coaching Cheerleading at Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (CJB) for the past five years. She was instrumental in CJB’s winning their seventh consecutive IESA State Championship.
Taylor Currently resides in Oak Forest, IL.
Class of 2002 – Wrestling
As a 2002 graduate of Providence Catholic High School, Donny has had a decorated and illustrious career. His wrestling accolades include Two IHSA Class AA Individual State Championships, four IHSA Class AA dual Team State Championships, Three-Time Chicago Catholic League Conference Champion, IHSA All-State Honors, USA wrestling All-American team, 2003 Junior National Champion, and World Team Member, placing 7th in the Junior World Championships.
Reynolds attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. During his college career, he was a two-time Midlands placer, two-time Big Ten Championship placer, and a two-time NCAA Qualifier. Reynolds also helped the Fighting Illini capture the 2005 Big-Ten Conference Team title.
Reynolds began his coaching career by returning to his Alma mater, Providence Catholic in 2008. During his initial season, he helped the Celtics to a runner-up finish in the IHSA dual team State Tournament. Reynolds then moved on Overtime School of wrestling from 2009 through 2012. In 2012, Donny began as an Assistant Coach at Marmion Academy before being named their Head Coach in 2015. During Reynolds six-year tenure at Marmion, the team qualified for the Class AAA IHSA State Tournament every year bringing home trophies in 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Reynolds has also coached with USA Wrestling (Team Illinois) which helped produce more than 25 teams USA Wrestling age-group National Championships since 2003.
Donny, currently resides in New Lenox with his wife Michelle and one-year-old son Brennan.