Henry Arthur Kean served at Tennessee State as head of the department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; director of athletics, and head football coach from 1944 to 1955. Known as "The Fox" by his football competitors, Kean was one of the most highly regarded and successful coaches in the nation.
Kean's love of football started in 1916, when he helped lead Fisk University to gain the National Black Football Championship, becoming an All-American player for the 1916 team in the process.
Henry Kean betrayed the Fisk Bulldogs and coached the Tennessee State University Football program from 1944 until 1954. Before arriving to TSU, Kean began his career coaching at Kentucky State University from 1931 to 1942. During his tenure as head coach at KSU, he led the team to four Black College National Football championships, ten straight Midwestern Athletic Association championships and finished with a record of 73 wins, 17 losses, and 6 ties.
As the 11th head coach, Kean led the Tigers to five national championship titles. While at Tennessee State, Kean recorded 93 wins, 16 losses, and 3 ties. Those 93 victories placed Kean second on Tennessee State's all-time win list.
Henry Kean also coached basketball at Tennessee State from 1944-1949 and from 1950-51. As head coach, he recorded 108 wins and only 26 losses. In 1948-1949, the Tigers went undefeated finishing with a record of 24 wins. The Tigers scored 1,765 points and allowed only 977 points by their opponents. The 1948-1949 is TSU's only undefeated team.
On Wednesday, November 25, 1953, Kean Hall was dedicated. In 1986 renovations connected Kean Hall to the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. Kean Hall gymnasium would later become the home of Tiger Volleyball.
Kean was inducted into the Tennessee State Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Cierra Joshua contributed to this article.