All Harambee Stars coaches in the history of Kenyan football

FOOTBALL All Harambee Stars coaches in the history of Kenyan football

Mark Kinyanjui 09:23 - 27.02.2024

Kenya has gone through 39 coaches since 1961, with seven being in charge since 2015 during which a side like Senegal has had just one coach in charge.

Football made its debut in Kenya at the start of the 20th century after being introduced by British settlers.

The simplicity of the sport resonated with Kenyans, leading to widespread adoption. In the 1940s and 50s, the Kenyan national team participated in the Gossage Cup, a competition among the three East African countries.

Key figures from that era included Shem Chimoto, Elijah Lidonde, and Peter Oronge (the latter two would serve as coaches of the side later).

The Remmington Cup, organized by the Football Association (FA), showcased local club teams, with Mwenge and Feisal from the Coast Province dominating and producing skilled players like Kadir Farah, Ahmed Breik, Ali Sungura, and Ali Kadjo.

In 1960, the Kenya Football Federation was formed to govern football in the country. Later the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) was formed to organize regional tournaments.

That became the year that Kenya appointed its first coach after forming the federation, with Ray Batchelor appointed the first national team coach in 1961.

Since then, numerous coaches have taken charge of the national team, which has coincided with the side failing to have a specific philosophy and way of playing, and as a result, it has also led to instability in terms of the results the team has produced over the years.

If you compare with Senegal, national team boss Aliou Cisse who is one of the longest-serving national coaches in the history of African football ever since taking charge in 2015.

During his stint, Cisse guided Senegal to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations competition back in 2021, as well as another final beforehand in 2019. He also has taken them to back-to-back World Cups in 2018 and 2023.

Amir Abdou, who recently guided Mauritania to their first ever round of 16 appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations, was in charge of Comoros from 2014 to 2021, laying foundations that eventually got them to qualify for the 2021 tournament. 

Before that, Mauritania had been managed by Corentin Martins, who became coach when Mauritania opted to go through a technical revolution and made good use of their FIFA Goal project funds.

These are some of the African teams that have had stability in the dugout. If you look at Kenya by contrast, 39 managers have been at the helm of the job since 1961 when the national team kicked a football for the first time under the new federation.

Infact, since 2014, seven different coaches have been in charge of the national team, epitomising the level of instability that has has been the nature of the job.

Pulse Sports lists down all the coaches who have been in charge of the team since 1961.

All Harambee Stars coaches in the history of Kenyan football 

Ray Batchelor (1961)

 Peter Oronge (1963)

Ray Batchelor (1965)

 Jack Gibbons (1966)

Elijah Lidonde (1967)

 Eckhard Krautzun (1971)

Jonathan Niva (1972)

Ray Wood (1975)

Grzegorz Polakow (1979)

Stephen Yongo (1979)

Marshall Mulwa (1980–83)

Bernhard Zgoll (1984)

Reinhard Fabisch (1987, 1997, 2001–02)

Christopher Makokha (1988)

Mohammed Kheri (1988–90, 1995, 2005)

Gerry Saurer (1992)

Vojo Gardašević (1996)

Abdul Majid (1998)

Christian Chukwu (1998)

James Siang'a (1999–00)

Joe Kadenge (2002)

Jacob "Ghost" Mulee (2003–04, 2007–08, 2010, 2020–2021)

Twahir Muhiddin (2004–05, 2009–10)

Bernard Lama (2006)

Tom Olaba (2006)

Francis Kimanzi (2008–09, 2011–12)

Antoine Hey (2009)

Zedekiah "Zico" Otieno (2010–11)

Henri Michel (2012)

James Nandwa (2012–13)

Adel Amrouche (2013–14)

Bobby Williamson (2014–16)

Stanley Okumbi (2016–17, 2018)

Paul Put (2017–2018)

Sébastien Migne (2018–2019)

Francis Kimanzi (2019–2020)

Engin Fırat (2021–present)