MYS mourns the loss of a tremendous coach, friend and mentor. Coach Shawn Kuykendall was an inspiration to all of his young McLean players. Not only did he have an awesome soccer career at American University and DC United, he developed a special connection with the young MYS players he coached. On March 12, Coach Shawn lost his battle to thymic cancer at the age of 32.
This past fall, close to 300 people came out for the Coach Shawn Juggle-a-thon. The support was palpable with Spring Hill #5 filled with jugglers of all ages. Collectively, the group did 189,000 juggles and raised close to $22,000 to support Coach Shawn.
MYS extends sincerest condolences to the Kuykendall family on their tragic loss. A Memorial service will be held at The Kings Chapel, 12925 Braddock Road, Clifton, VA on Saturday, March 22 at 11 am.
Shawn's family has requested that donations be made to Kuykenstrong in lieu of flowers. Kuykenstrong, 42802 Lauder Terrace, Ashburn, VA 20147.
One of our MYS Parents shares her tribute below. And you can read a tribute from one of our MYS coaches at this link
Shawn Kuykendall was an inspiration to children of all ages and adults. Kids loved him for his contagious passion for the game of soccer and his ability to teach in a fun atmosphere. Whether you talk to his recent U11 boys team or his past girls team now in college, they remember his positive coaching style and the confidence he brought out in his players. He was an inspirational soul. That day last June when the phone rang is a hard day to forget. Shawn had just found out there was a mass in his chest and he was being admitted to the hospital. Even in those initial hours when we saw him, his positive attitude was striking. Watching this 32 year old coach, mentor and friend has been a lesson in inspiration at another level. Miniature golfing last summer with our family after he found out he had Stage 4 thymic cancer, Shawn was exactly the same spirit he had been months before prior to his diagnosis. Laughter, positivity, and banter were still in full force as they would be with Shawn until the very end. As we visited him during chemo treatments, he continued forth with unbelievable courage and strength and reassurance that he was going to fight this. As we all attempt to process this, whether we are 11 years old or adults, it is apparent that Shawn was a model for faith, strength and perseverance. He taught our children to believe on the field and demonstrated to us all these qualities off the field. We will all miss him dearly, but there is a lot to learn from this young 32 year old role model. Thank you, Shawn Kuykendall.