Kentwood athletic director retires after 40 years

Kurt Phelps,graduated from Kentridge in 1980, is calling it a career after serving Kent community since 1984.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Longtime Kentwood High School coach, athletic director and teacher Kurt Phelps will no longer be at the helm of the Kentwood athletic department.

Phelps is stepping down after 40 years serving the Kentwood region as a coach and 37 and a half years as a teacher. He began his student teaching at Kentwood in 1985 and was hired in 1986 after graduating from Kentridge in 1980. Phelps started coaching the Kentwood football team from ‘84-‘24 and the baseball team from 1985 to 1999.

“I have spent two-thirds of my life at Kentwood, so of course it is a special place for me. I have been a part of the Kentwood culture for all but three years of Kentwood’s existence. Kentwood is special place built on many traditions; it is a place unlike any other and is hard to describe, as it’s more of a feeling. The entire Kent/Covington community is very involved and supportive of Kentwood students and faculty and is what drives the Kentwood pride and spirit,” Phelps said in a statement to The Reporter

”It has truly been a privilege and an honor to teach, to coach, and to be the athletic director at Kentwood High School, working alongside strong teaching, coaching, and administrative staffs throughout my time at Kentwood. However, the real honor was being able to work with the students of Kentwood; that is what it’s all about and is what makes spending all that time at Kentwood the most enjoyable piece of the job.”

“We congratulate Kurt for his 40 years of service. His type of leadership, mentorship, and coaching is hard to come by and will be greatly missed. He has had a profound impact on countless students within this community,” Kent School District Athletic Director Brian Smith told the Kent News.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Gabby Greenwood gives a yell after her home run against Graham-Kapowsin. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood falls in district championship, named five seed for state tournament

Kentridge makes second day of district tournament for first time since 2016.

Matthew Ledbetter leads off the game in the first inning at Sherman Anderson Field. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake baseball eliminated in Mount Vernon

Falcons fall 9-3 to third-seeded Bulldogs.

Christopher Moore went six strong innings against Stanwood. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake blanks Stanwood 5-0 in state tournament opening round

Falcons win behind solid performance from Christopher Moore.

Sarah Wright struck out 17 and allowed just two hits against Kentridge. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood fastpitch wins fourth straight league title

Wright and Conks down Kentridge 7-0 with 17Ks and 2RBI at the plate.

Quay Miller taking a shot during warmups in Canada. Photo provided by Seattle Storm.
Kentridge's Quay Miller fights for spot with Storm

Miller wrapped up her college career in March and now sets her sights on the professional level.

Dominic DesMarais on the mound against Curtis. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentridge baseball moves on in district tournament

Kentridge’s 1-0 win over Curtis is fueled by Dominic DesMarais, who pitched a complete game shutout.

Photo of an assistant referee. Ben Ray /
Amateur refs and umpires deserve more respect | Bench Talk with Ben Ray

Imagine you show up to do a hobby that you enjoy, and other people show up and just start ripping you a new one because of a minute decision you made.

Sarah Wright does her thing in the circle for Kentwood. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood outlasts Auburn Riverside in heavyweight clash

Sarah Wright dazzles and the offense gets the job done in 2-1 win.

Vote today for the Kent News's Athletes of the Year.
Vote for the Kent News Athletes of the Year

The online contest runs May 1 to May 8.

Johan Zuluaga gets some love from his teammates after scoring the game tying goal. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kent-Meridian soccer wins 3A NPSL with win over Auburn Riverside

The Royals have now won four straight to close out regular season.

Ethan Nonthaveth scores the second Kentwood goal for the Conks in a minute against Mount Rainier. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Tale of two halves for Kentwood boys soccer

Kentwood led 3-0 at halftime, but ends with 3-3 draw against Mount Rainier.

Juan Hernandez gives a scream after driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake steals a win on the road — and steals top spot

Falcons defeated Lions 3-2 in an intense battle for the lead of the NPSL.