Billy BD Kennedy Kennedy returns as HC for Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders

Eight-time Swedish champions, the Carlstad Crusaders,  have decided to “sign from within”  and have announced that veteran Billy BD Kennedy will be their new head coach.

Kennedy replaces Tracey Gere who has decided to step back to be able to focus solely on the defense and will serve as defensive coordinator.

Given that, there was no more natural choice for the job of head coach.

This is the second stint as head coach of the Crusaders for Kennedy a native of Blanchard, Oklahoma. He originally came to Carlstad in 2002 as head coach, serving for three  seasons before moving to the Arlanda Jets in 2005 where he stayed until 2012. Since then, he has served in a number of capacities, coaching the Crusaders U19 team as well as working as both the offensive line coach for the men’s team and as offensive coordinator. The Crusader teams that he coached in the early 2000s reached three Swedish Super Series finals as well as winning the 2003 EFAF Cup championship over Austria’s Swarco Raiders after a 24+ hour bus ride one way to Austria. With Arlanda, he reached the Swedish final in 2008.

He also served on the coaching staff of the 2005 Swedish national team that won the European championships.

Before coming to Sweden, Kennedy was a graduate assistant at Baylor University for two seasons, offensive line coach at Hutchinsson Community College for two seasons, and offensive line coach at Washburn University for 11 seasons.

The accolades and stories about Kennedy are many. One former player summed it up perhaps the best:

“I’ve played a lot of sports and have never been around a coach that inspired me more than BD. There is no question about that BD is the best coach I have ever played for. No coach has ever made me feel more special as a person and as a player.”

Kennedy will be focused on hiring his coaching staff including a new offensive coordinator. According to Carlstad Sports Director Rikard Borg, Kennedy will be the first head coach of the Crusaders who will not serve as either offensive or defensive coordinator as well:

“It has been the plan from the outset that no-one will double as head coach and offensive or defensive coordinator. In part, to divide up responsibilities more, but also because it is better for the players.”

Kennedy is looking forward to the opportunity after considering stepping away from coaching altogether:

“I am really excited about this. I had been considering stepping away from coaching to spend more time with my family.  But after talking it over with my wife, I felt that this was a terrific challenge. And being able to do it with Tracey Gere who is my best friend was the key. “


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