Kevin McAnallen has been a staple in the Pikeville Little League football system.
McAanllen volunteers his time to help kids learn how to play the game and grow as players.
For his selfless acts, McAnallen was recognized at the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame as the Blanton Collier Sportsman’s Group honored by being named Volunteer of the Year.
“It is a true honor,” McAnallen said. “The Kentucky Pro Football is a great event that coincides with the Blanton Collier Sportsman’s Group recognizing me as volunteer coach of the year. But honestly, the recognition is just what it is. To me, it’s an afterthought because I like coaching the kids. I love being around the young kids. I love to see athletes grow and learn the game and I love the environment because it’s so electric. I love seeing the kids growing and love it when they come up on the street and remember me. I love it when I hear, ‘Hey coach, how are you doing,’ and ‘It was good seeing you coach.’ That’s what it’s all about. The kids and having a positive impact on them. That’s the reward. I just love doing it. There is nothing like seeing young athletes grow to love the game. Football is such a great team sport. It’s just such a great team sport for young men and we’ve even had some tough girls play Little League.”
Kentucky is the only state with a Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes players who played in the NFL and also names an All Commonwealth Team that consists of players from colleges all over the state.
Former Cleveland Browns player Frank Minnefield works with the Blanton Collier Sportsman’s Group and he is also the president of the Kentucky Football Hall of Fame. That’s how McAnallen was recognized at the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame event.
“It was great to get to meet all of the players,” McAnallen said. “The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame has an All-Commonwealth Team recognizing the top college players from the schools in the state and Kash Daniel was there for the University of Kentucky and Daric Pugh from Georgetown. Of course, I know Daric Pugh well and I knew Kash Daniel, so it was so good to get to catch up with them. They also inducted Champ Bailey. Champ Bailey was born in Kentucky. He was from the Fort Campbell area and we all know he played at Georgia in college and went on to have a great NFL career. He is also getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame too, so that was great to get to meet him and see him.”
When McAnallen received his award at the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame, there was a familiar face there to greet him.
“I was honored to get congratulated by coach Chris McNamee,” McAnallen said. “But when I came off the stage, there was one familiar face there who came to congratulate me and that was Belfry’s Philip Haywood. That meant the world to me. It is a great honor to be greeted by Philip Haywood and him to congratulate you. That meant a lot to me.”
McAnallen also referees high school sports. He has been an official during the football season, baseball season and basketball season.
“Being an official is something that is important to all sports,” McAnallen said. “Without refs, umps and officials, kids couldn’t play. Most people that go to games like to take their frustrations out on the officials and that’s a part of it, but I find officiating as something that is enjoyable. I just try to give me best effort to the kids and game and let the chips fall where they may. But I also do it for selfish reasons because I like doing it. It helps me stay young. I feel better when I’m doing it. I feel healthy. I just feel good being around the game. Pikeville is always going to be the top concern and seeing those kids grow, but I love officiating because I get to meet the players and coaches from other schools. I think if you respect the players and coaches from the other schools around the area and they know you’re giving it your all, then they respect you too. I love seeing everyone in the area succeeding and watching athletes compete and accomplish great things is just rewarding.”