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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kenney was in 'Game of Century'

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Dick Kenney, one of three players from Hawai'i who participated in Michigan State University's famed 1966 football "Game of the Century" against Notre Dame, died yesterday at St. Francis Hospital.

He was 59.

Kenney, who was a counselor at Pearl City High School for 29 years and until last week was a pitching coach for Damien's baseball team, suffered a heart attack on Sunday and his condition worsened in recent days, according to family and friends.

"He was a very giving person," said Keith Morioka, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's executive director who was Kenney's close friend since their days as teammates at Iolani School. "He was a good father, and even though that sounds corny nowadays, with him it was really true."

Kenney was a standout in football, basketball and baseball at Iolani, and after graduating in 1963 he joined the football and baseball teams at Michigan State. Along with fullback Bob Apisa (from Farrington) and receiver Charlie Wedemeyer (Punahou), Kenney was part of the No. 2-ranked Spartans football team that played its legendary game against No. 1 Notre Dame on Nov. 19, 1966. It was billed by the media as college football's "Game of the Century."

Kenney, kicking barefooted, booted a 47-yard field goal in the 10-10 tie, which also is famous for being the first live sporting event televised to Hawai'i via satellite from the Mainland.

Kenney is survived by wife, Nani; sons, Kelii, Kaipo and Marchael; daughter, Denine; mother, Eleanor; four grandsons and one granddaughter. Services are being planned.

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2456.