116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Kenyon Murray calls it “organized chaos.”
He was referring to his life, which takes him so many directions. He also could be referring to the identity to his new team.
“We’re going to play fast,” Murray said upon his hiring as Cedar Rapids Prairie girls’ basketball coach Wednesday. “We’re going to play hard man-to-man defense. We’re going to press. We’re going to play a style that takes advantage of everybody’s talents.”
In terms of name recognition, Prairie couldn’t have gone bigger with this hire.
Murray, 48, came to Iowa from Battle Creek, Mich., in 1992 and played four seasons of basketball for the University of Iowa under Tom Davis.
He spent three years as an assistant men’s coach at Indian Hills Community College, four years as an assistant boys’ coach at Prairie and has been coaching AAU ball for more than 10 years.
Murray’s son Keegan is projected as a first-round selection in the NBA Draft on June 23. Kris Murray, Keegan’s twin, will be a junior at Iowa next year.
Murray’s daughter, McKenna, will be a junior at Prairie next season and is one of four returning starters for the Hawks.
“Coaching McKenna, yeah, that’s a strong pull,” Kenyon said. “It’s a unique opportunity, and actually, the timing is pretty good.”
So there’s an possibility that Kenyon and his wife Michelle could be in a gym with McKenna one night, watching Kris the next, then Keegan the next.
“Once we get to November, Keegan will be on autopilot,” Kenyon said. “As far as Kris and McKenna are concerned ... there were just two times last year they were playing the same night ... there’s a reason there’s both Mom and Dad.
“We’ll figure it out.”
Murray succeeds Josh Bentley, who resigned last week after eight years to take the principal job at Anamosa High School.
“We are extremely excited for Kenyon to lead our program,” athletics director Rocky Bennett said in a statement.
“He is a top-shelf person with unmatched knowledge of the game who has an amazing ability to foster relationships with all stakeholders.”
During the day, Murray runs Murray Legacy Management, which manages endorsements and NIL opportunities for Keegan and Kris, and is the president of LBA Foundation, a nonprofit in Cedar Rapids.
With McKenna a junior, Kenyon calls this appointment “two years for sure, maybe more.”
Facing the second-strongest schedule in the state (according to the BCMoore computer), Prairie was 6-16 last season, averaging just 41.5 points per game.
With McKenna in the mix, as well as junior Catie Reittinger and sophomore Neveah Diaz-Doolin, the Hawks return 82 percent of their punch for 2022-23.
“We’re going to have multiple ball handlers,” Murray said. “We won’t have just one single point guard.”
The program will welcome a strong freshman class, and eighth-grader KeaOnna Worley is on the national radar in the Class of 2027.