Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content The new generation of McKiernans includes one taking a new path

MATT WILEY Published: January 31, 2012

In this area, the name McKiernan is synonymous with basketball.

But when Jacob McKiernan signs Wednesday with Adams State, the Florence senior will be committing to continue his career not on the hardwood but on the football field.

"I've just had bad luck (playing basketball)," said Jacob, who at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds will play on the offensive line for the Grizzlies. "I just got to the point where I really didn't like it."

Doesn't like basketball? That seems un-McKiernan.

Dan McKiernan is in the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame for his coaching career that included 610 wins and two state championships. During his 37 years coaching boys in the Springs he led Palmer, Rampart and Doherty.

Pat McKiernan is the coach of the Pikes Peak No. 2 Doherty girls' basketball team.

Pat is one of the more than two dozen former players or coaches who have branched out under Dan to form a basketball coaching grapevine.

That vine has now sprouted in a new direction.

Jacob McKiernan won a state football title at Florence and wants to live up to his family name, even if it's in a new avenue.

"Probably by the time I was about 10, everybody was like 'Are you Dan McKiernan's grandson?'" Jacob said. "I wouldn't say it puts a lot of pressure on you. ... I feel a lot of people expect a lot from me, and that's fine. I am cool with that. As far as the family goes, they were always just 100 percent supportive."

As for Dan, he's just a happy grandfather.

"We have 18 grandchildren and half of them aren't interested in sports and we are equally proud of them," said Dan, adding that he has grandchildren who are interested in swimming and cheerleading. "It is whatever they want to do."

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