Warren Central hires Kristof Kendrick as boys basketball coach

Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar

Warren Central hires Kristof Kendrick as boys basketball coach

Boys Basketball

Warren Central hires Kristof Kendrick as boys basketball coach

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There are big shoes to fill for the next boys basketball coach at Warren Central. But Kristof Kendrick, the man officially hired for that role on Tuesday, knows exactly what he is getting into.

Kendrick, 35, was an assistant for the first two years of Criss Beyers’ four-year tenure, which was highlighted by a 32-0 season and Class 4A state championship in 2017-18. Kendrick left prior to that season when he was hired at Howe, his first head coaching job, leading the Hornets to a 35-15 record in two seasons.

“I’m familiar with the kids and the administration at Warren Central,” Kendrick said. “There are top-level facilities and I’m excited to coach in the (Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference) at a program that has turned into a state powerhouse. That pretty much summed it up for me.”

Kristof Kendrick is leaving Howe to replace Criss Beyers at Warren Central. (Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar)

Kendrick, a former Lafayette Central Catholic star, was an assistant at Tech (2009-11) and Cathedral (2011-15) prior to joining Beyers’ staff at Warren Central. He coached mostly veteran teams at Howe, which was defeated by Shenandoah in a Class 2A sectional championship both seasons.

“Being at Howe gave me the opportunity to deal with kids in a different role,” Kendrick said. “Calling all the plays and making all of the end-game adjustments were different responsibilities. The heat is on you. We had two really good seasons at Howe. We never quite made it as far as we wanted to, but we got kids to college and that was the main thing.”

Warren Central will look different next year than it did in running up a 55-3 record the past two seasons. All five starters — Indiana All-Star Jesse Bingham, David Bell, Jakobie Robinson, Isiah Moore and Manual Brown — are gone to graduation. Junior-to-be Malik Stanley, a part-time starter who averaged 8.8 points per game, is the top returner.

Under Beyers, the Warriors’ success was built on defense and effort. Kendrick expects that to continue.

“The two things I need to do and emphasize right away is to develop a culture of accountability and to again be very good on defense,” Kendrick said. “Offensively, we can adjust to the talent we have. All five starters are walking out the door. But you have to have the culture and be able to play defense.”

Kendrick, the son of former Tech and Purdue standout Frank Kendrick, has coached at the grassroots level with Indiana Elite for several years. He said he expects to have his coaching staff in place by next week.

“We know coaching in Sectional 10 that you aren’t allowed any nights off,” Kendrick said. “Having coached in that sectional before as an assistant, I know how you have to prepare because anything can happen in that sectional.”

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.

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Warren Central hires Kristof Kendrick as boys basketball coach
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