Kevin O’Keefe, the first athletic coordinator/head football coach at Seven Lakes High School, died July 2.
O'Keefe was in his early 60's.
O’Keefe coached the Spartans from 2005-2012, leading the program to its first playoff appearance in 2009. O’Keefe led Seven Lakes to an 18-42 overall record. He left the Spartans after the 2011 season, posting a 6-4 record.
Seven Lakes’ football program twitter account tweeted: “The foundation Coach O’Keefe laid is still being built upon today.”
“He always liked taking on a new challenge. New school, young team, always an underdog,” said Kenny Miller, a former player under O’Keefe from 2007-2009 at Seven Lakes. “He was an old-school guy. He was a ‘they put their pants on the same way you do’ kind of guy. He used to say that a lot.”
O’Keefe also coached at Spring Woods and Hightower before finishing his high school coaching career at Seven Lakes. In 15 years as a head coach, he went 76-85. He was was a former player at Texas Lutheran University, where he helped the Bulldogs’ national championship team in 1975 and the finalist team in 1976.
O’Keefe led Hightower from 1998-2004, with five consecutive playoff appearances from 2000-2004. He was selected as the 2001 Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Houston after Hightower advanced to the state quarterfinals.
From 1994-1998, O’Keefe was at Spring Woods High. He led Spring Woods to the 1997 playoffs, the team’s first trip since 1983.
O’Keefe made the playoffs at every stop during his head coaching tenure.
O’Keefe also played a major role in the success of Elsik High in his role of defensive coordinator from 1982-1994. Elsik made seven playoff appearances during that time span. The Rams advanced to the state quarterfinals in 1992 and 1993.
O’Keefe began his coaching career as defensive coordinator at Strake Jesuit College Prep from 1979-1982. The Crusaders captured two state championships in 1980 and 1982.
The Greater Houston Football Coaches Association inducted O’Keefe into the Hall of Honor in 2011.