BK News

Congratulations Coach Buckley

Bishop Kenny Head Boys Basketball Coach Marks 300th Win


For the past sixteen years Coach Jerry Buckley has been the face of Bishop Kenny High School boys’ basketball.  Recently Coach Buckley reached a significant milestone in his career earning win number 300 in a game against a very strong Bolles team.  When asked about the win Buckley said, “I was very excited and feel blessed to coach at a school that emphasizes academics, athletics, and preparing students for college and life on and off the court.” As the Director of Office of School Counseling Buckley is keenly aware that academics is the number one priority of all teachers and coaches at Bishop Kenny.

Buckley’s coaching career at Bishop Kenny began in 1999 when he was named coach of the freshman team followed by six years coaching the junior varsity team.  Since taking leadership of the varsity program Coach Buckley’s teams have finished as state runner-up once (2016), made two final-four appearances, won two regional championships, and eight district championships.  Buckley said, “It’s a complete team effort across the board and the guidance of my assistant coaches is paramount.  Not only do they bring tremendous basketball knowledge to the team, but more importantly, they serve as role models for the young men in our program.”  I am thankful for the support of these gentlemen; Byron Allmond, Tom Connolly ‘87, Jeff Tranovich, Jim Hayes, Jon Pichardo’90, and Errol Gonzales ‘95.

Coach Buckley grew up playing basketball.  He was a member of the Catholic University team from 1989 through 1993.  Basketball is definitely a Buckley family tradition.  Buckley’s sons, Patrick ’19 and Daniel ’21 both currently play for Catholic University as guards. Coach Buckley is committed to building the program and continually striving to be competitive with the best teams in Florida.


Pictured: (L-R) Front:  Gavin Meehan ’22, Jackson Burnett ’23, Barrett Baker ’23, Merensly Florestal ’23, Drew McAtee ’22, Diego Dionisio ’23, Justin Gist ’24, Braxton Gruver ’22, Ja’Kari Harris ’22,

Backrow:  Asst. coaches Errol Gonzales ‘95, Tom Connolly ‘87, Jeff Tranovich, team manager JP Thorton ‘23‘, Tong Tong ’24, Sebastian Consuegra ’23, Alex Ritter ’23, Oluwaji Eziemefe ’24, Harrison Groom ’22, Kyle Sulayman ’22, team manager J.T. Webb ‘22, head coach Jerry Buckley, Asst. coaches Byron Allmond, Jon Pichardo ‘90.

Coach Valley: 2A Coach of the Year

Florida Dairy Farmers Class 2A Boys Swim Team:  Coach of the Year


Bishop Kenny head swim coach Laurel Valley ’98 has been named the Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year.  This award caps off an outstanding season that ended with the Crusaders winning the FHSAA Class 2A state title at the 2021 Swimming & Diving State Championships held on November 5 in Stuart, Florida. The combined results of individual and relay performances of the swimmers secured the title for the team. Coach Laurel Valley noted, “I couldn’t be prouder of the boys. They kept their focus and worked one meet at a time to remain undefeated throughout regular and post-season competition.” 

Valley, a BK swim team alum stated, “Its surreal to be at BK as a faculty member versus as a student and experiencing life from the other side – it’s fascinating!”  A certified Physical Education and Health teacher Coach Valley has been teaching at BK for two years and prior to that taught for 13 years in Duval County.  Valley is quick to commend assistant coaches Dennis Candalora, Catherine Gibson, and Stephanie Jaeger who provided invaluable assistance throughout the season and were instrumental in the team effort during practices and on the pool deck at all of the meets.

Valley completed her first year as the head coach on a high note and has big plans for the future of BK swimming and diving.  The boys’ team has a strong chance of repeating

January Student of the Month:  Natalie Otero

Congratulations to Senior Natalie Otero, Bishop Kenny’s January Student of the Month.  Natalie was selected for Academics, Initiative & Commitment.  Natalie has worked hard for all that she has achieved and says, “I have learned that if I put joy into what I’m learning, I really enjoy it.” 

Natalie has a rigorous academic schedule and is also very involved in extra-curricular activities. She is a two-sport athlete, running in the fall with the cross-country team and in the spring with the track & field team.  Natalie is the treasurer of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the English Honor Society, and Vice President of the Science Club. She is also a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Rho Kappa, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Home Economics Club, and History Club. Natalie also is a National Merit Semifinalist.

Natalie would like to attend the University of Florida to pursue a degree in biology with the goal of becoming a radiologist. Inspired by her family she said, “From an early age, I was shown the importance of working hard for what you want. My family is from Cuba, and I saw them work hard to gain a lot from nothing. I grew up learning by example from my family to do the best in everything you do.”