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.”
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.