Ursuline does not renew Kempe’s contract

Staff report


Three regional championship game appearances in seven seasons were not enough to save Ursuline High School head football coach Larry Kempe’s job.

Friday, Ursuline announced Kempe’s contract is not being renewed.

Kempe has been with the Fighting Irish program for 15 seasons, the first eight as defensive coordinator.

After the 2011 season, Kempe became head coach after Dan Reardon stepped down when his family moved to Colorado. Today, Reardon is the head coach at Canton McKinley.

Kempe told WFMJ Channel 21, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, that he still wants to coach and that he was asked to resign.

Kempe rejected the invitation to step down.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” Kempe told the television station.

When contacted by The Vindicator to elaborate, Kempe said, “I am not ready to make a statement.”

Sean Durkin, Ursuline athletic director, did not return a call for comment.

As head coach, the colorful Kempe — known for the shorts he wore no matter how cold the temperature was — compiled a 34-46 record. Most of those wins came in his first four seasons.

In 2012, Ursuline went 6-4, then won two Division V playoff games to play for the regional title.

A year later, the Irish made the playoffs with a 4-5 record, but lost to Akron Manchester in the first round.

In 2014, the Irish again were 6-4 in the regular season, then won two playoff games to play for another regional title.

Kempe’s most successful season came in 2015 when the Irish were reassigned to Div. IV and went 5-5 in the regular season. Ursuline won the region to become a state semifinalist. The Irish lost to Steubenville, 28-0 to finish 8-6.

Since then, the Irish have gone 6-24 and missed the postseason. Ursuline was 1-9 in Kempe’s final year, with the lone win coming in a 24-21 win against Bishop Watterson on Oct. 5.

The school released a statement saying, “Ursuline is extremely grateful to Coach Kempe for his long dedicated service to the football program. He always put his student athletes first.”

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