Athletics / Summer 2014

Friends and family reconnect with Touhey

Kevin Touhey has lived on the East Coast for nearly 30 years, so he hadn’t seen much of his Mount Mercy family since leaving Cedar Rapids in 1985. But that didn’t stop friends and family from gathering at Hennessey Recreation Center last winter to reconnect with the former men’s basketball coach and athletic director.

Touhey, who was inducted into the Mount Mercy Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, was the men’s basketball coach for six seasons from 1979-85. “From my standpoint, he made Mount Mercy men’s basketball relevant,” said Paul Gavin ’88, current men’s basketball and golf coach and a former player under Touhey. “He was really the first coach to go outside eastern Iowa to bring athletes to campus.”

Coach Touhey and former players

More than 100 friends and family reunited with former men’s basketball coach and athletics director Kevin Touhey last winter in Cedar Rapids.

Not only was Touhey instrumental in creating a strong men’s basketball program, he helped make Hennessey Rec Center a reality. “Although he never got to coach in it, Kevin had a lot of input into Hennessey Recreation Center,” Gavin said.

Touhey, a certified life coach for his own business, Elite Performance, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer more than a year ago. He had never smoked a cigarette in his life, and the cancer was discovered by chance. Following a car accident, pain in his right side wouldn’t go away. It grew worse, and after several rounds of tests, the diagnosis was advanced non small-cell lung cancer.

A high-tech treatment called erlotinib, combined with Touhey’s positive attitude and the tremendous support of family and friends, has seen him through the toughest challenge of his life. His greatest strength, however, has come from his wife, Annabelle, and daughters, Serena and Ava.

With the cancer in remission, Touhey and his family paid a visit to eastern Iowa in February. The chance to see him again drew more than 100 people to a basketball doubleheader at Hennessey. “It was a wonderful day,” said Gavin. “Coach Touhey is an inspiration to all of us, as evidenced by such a fantastic turnout for the reunion. You can easily see that he has touched the lives of so many people.”

 

Written by Jason Furler

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