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Kentucky native counsels UM student-athletes

By Herbert Moore

Kentucky native Kyra Kendrick spends her time helping student-athletes as an academic counselor in the FedEx Student Athlete Center at the University of Mississippi.

Kendrick came to Ole Miss in January and has since overseen eligibility, scheduling, monitors students daily and gives academic reports to coaches.

Kendrick ensures all the athletes she is assigned to are academically eligible to compete in their sports competition. This means student-athletes are meeting NCAA requirements for competition.

Kendrick began her career in August 2010 at Louisiana State University, where she was an assistant academic counselor. She first ran the study hall for at-risk students and managed and monitored an academic degree plan for football student-athletes. She also helped implement community service projects for football.

Kendrick was hired for her first professional job in July 2012 as an athletic academic counselor at Kent State University.

“I learned so much, such as being nice and agreeable is not as important as holding people accountable, and that no matter how hard you try, it’s not your fault if a student does not do well,” she said.

Growing up in Wichita, Kansas, Kendrick was the only child in her family with both her mom and dad.

“My family and I volunteered at soup kitchens, community centers and different church activities,” she said.

Briana Murphee, a student athlete strategist at the FedEx Center, said Kendrick has a positive relationship with her students.

“Kyra brings a lot to the table,” Murphee said. “She is young, brings fresh energy, motivates everyone and brings enthusiasm to the job. She is very easy to work with, well-organized and works really hard to be very aware of all her students.”

Kendrick said it’s often challenging to ensure athletes get homework complete and show up on time for appointments.

“When student athletes don’t understand that academics and sports go hand and hand, it makes it harder on me, and most importantly, themselves,” said Kendrick.

Kendrick said she’d eventually like to work for the National Football League with community outreach and continuing education.